Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Star spinning out of control, carbon-based life and how SETI works

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Today’s news:
g Stars - A team of astronomers have been baffled by a star spinning out of control. See
g Abodes - Astronomers on alien planets almost certainly have the Earth listed as a world teeming with life, a leading scientist says. See
. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Life - It’s a question as common as brown dogs: Will alien life be carbon-based? See
. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Intelligence - Men and women are actually from the same planet, but scientists now have the first strong evidence that the emotional wiring of the sexes is fundamentally different. See
g Message - Just how does SETI work? Here’s a good primer for those looking to get a basic overview: http://www.howstuffworks.
g Cosmicus - The design of hotels in orbit is a feast for the imagination of architects and interior designers. The basic ideas have been well understood since people lived safely in the U.S. space station Skylab in 1973-74. But the cost of getting to and from orbit has remained so high that tourism hasn't got started yet, and so there's been little incentive for anyone to make the effort required to design true orbital hotels. However, remembering that the hotel industry (or "hospitality industry") is a huge, highly competitive, global industry, we can foresee that once accommodation in orbit gets started as a business, it will grow and grow as companies compete to provide more interesting services for their guests. See
g Learning - There’s a neat set of online activities, primarily for older teens or young adults, about communicating with extraterrestrial intelligence at It helps students learn about SETI while they send one another messages then decode them, as if they were alien civilizations on distant worlds.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Murray Leinster’s novel “The Greks Bring Gifts,” published by MacFadden in 1964.
g Aftermath - For some provocative reading, pick up “Sharing the Universe,” by Seth Shostak, at your local bookstore. SETI scientist Shostak almost single-handedly is outlining social and political issues that will arise once we make contact with extraterrestrials. For reviews, see