Friday, February 24, 2006

Galaxy NGC 1309, prioritizing information and astrobiology cuts

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 - Looking like a child's pinwheel ready to be set a spinning by a gentle breeze, the dramatic spiral galaxy NGC 1309 is one of the latest viewed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. See article.
g Abodes - Scientists at the University of Chicago are among the first ever to analyze cometary dust delivered to Earth via spacecraft. Scientists routinely examine extraterrestrial material that has fallen to Earth as meteorites, but never before NASA's Stardust mission have they had access to verified samples of a comet. See article.
gLife - A review published in the recent issue of Ethology suggests that the presence of multiple predators slows the loss of anti-predator abilities in isolated populations. See article.
g Intelligence - Just imagine listening to someone talk and also hearing the buzz of the overhead lights, the hum of your computer and the muffled conversation down the hallway. To focus on the person speaking to you, your brain clearly can't give equal weight to all incoming sensory information. It has to attend to what is important and ignore the rest. Two scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a big step toward sorting out how the brain accomplishes this task: A mechanism for prioritizing information - previously reported only in primates - is also used by birds. See article.
g Message - What technological manifestations would make an advanced extraterrestrial civilization detectable? See Note: This paper was written in 1992.
g Cosmicus - A major decrease in NASA funding for Astrobiology has been proposed. The President's budget for fiscal year '07 includes plans to cut NASA's astrobiology budget to 50% of its FY '05 level. The operating plan for the current fiscal year (FY '06) will severely curtail ongoing astrobiology funding as an interim step towards meeting the FY '07 announced level. See article.
g Learning - Here’s an opportunity to turn kids onto stargazing: During the next couple of weeks skywatchers will be turning their attention to a newly discovered comet that has just swept past the Sun and will soon cruise past Earth on its way back out toward the depths of the outer solar system. See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read David Feintuch’s novel “Midshipman's Hope,” published by Warner Aspect in 1994.
g Aftermath - Even if the public seems less than awestruck by the prospect that alien life is a bunch of microscopic bugs, astrobiologists say unequivocal discovery of microbial life beyond Earth will change human society in profound ways, some unfathomable today. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

No comments: