Thursday, March 16, 2006

Unexplainable cosmic outburst, Earth’s evil twin and Baboon bereavement

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Today’s news:
g Stars - Astronomers have detected a new type of cosmic outburst that they can't yet explain. The event was very close to our galaxy, they said. See article. For related story, see “Spacecraft detects new kind of cosmic explosion”.
g Abodes - David Grinspoon, astrobiology curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and author of the book, "Venus Revealed," recently attended the 2006 Chapman conference, "Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet." In this essay, he provides an overview of the conference, examines Venus controversies, and explains how we could learn about the possibility of life elsewhere by studying "Earth’s Evil Twin." See article.
g Life - A team of American-led divers has discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said. See article.
g Intelligence - According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, baboons physiologically respond to bereavement in ways similar to humans, with an increase in stress hormones called glucocorticoids. Baboons can lower their glucocorticoid levels through friendly social contact, expanding their social network after the loss of specific close companions. See article. For related story, see “Queen of Mean' Turns Nice When Daughter Dies”.
g Message - Because of the ability to study many areas on the sky at once, with more channels and for 24 hours a day, the Allen Telescope Array will permit an expansion from SETI’s last stellar reconnaissance of 1,000 stars to 100 thousand or even 1 million nearby stars. See article.
g Cosmicus - Take one part high-frequency gravitational wave generation, then add in a quantum vacuum field. Now whip wildly via a gravitomagnetic force in a rotating superconductor while standing by for Alcubierre warp drive in higher dimensional space-time. See article.
g Learning - Here’s an interesting classroom activity: “Who Can Live Here?” Students explore the limits of life on Earth to extend their beliefs about life to include its possibility on other worlds.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s "Heavenly Host," anthologized in “First Contact” (edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Larry Segriff and published by DAW in 1997).
g Aftermath - The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence is accelerating its pace and adopting fresh strategies. This increases the likelihood of successful detection in the near future. Humanity's first contact with alien intelligence will trigger extraordinary attention from the media, from government authorities, and from the general public. By improving our readiness for contact, especially for security during the first 30 days, we can avoid the most negative scenarios — and also enhance humanity's benefits from this first contact with an alien intelligence. Six potential problem areas include communicating with the media and the public, communicating with scientific colleagues, government control, an assassin or saboteur, well-meaning officials and lawsuits. See article.

Read this blogger’s books

No comments: