Thursday, January 26, 2006

Embryonic planets, Russian moon base and ‘Voyagers’

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Two new studies suggest that planet formation around multiple star systems may be more common than previously thought. See article.
g Abodes - Hit-and-run collisions between embryonic planets during a critical period in the early history of the Solar System may account for some previously unexplained properties of planets, asteroids, and meteorites, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. See article. For related story, see “Mercury a Possible Hit-and-Run Planet”.
g Life - Learning as much as possible about the earliest life on Earth is probably the best starting point for trying to find life somewhere else, said Roger Buick, a paleontologist who became the first faculty member hired specifically for the University of Washington’s pioneering graduate program in astrobiology, the search for life away from Earth. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Intelligence - Many computers are already able to see and hear. However, they have no way of telling whether their users are happy or angry. At CeBIT 2006, researchers will be presenting techniques that could one day enable the digital servant to respond to the mood of its human master. See article.
g Message - The Allen Telescope Array, currently under construction about 200 miles northeast of San Francisco, is the first professional radio telescope designed from the get-go to speedily search for extraterrestrial signals. When completed, it will comprise 350 antennas, spread over roughly 150 acres of lava-riven real estate. See article.
g Cosmicus - The head of a leading Russian space company said it was considering plans to set up a permanent moon base by 2015, a statement that appeared to be an effort to win government funds rather than a specific action plan, news reports said Thursday. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a cool introduction to astrobiology: A concept map of the field’s fundamental questions with links to each one.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Ben Bova’s novel “Voyagers,” published by Tor in 1981.
g Aftermath - In a cross-cultural study conducted several years ago, to scientists looked at the attitudes of college students towards the possibility that extraterrestrial life might exist, and if it does, what it might be like for people to learn that it exists. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.

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