Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mountainous landscape of Mars, fictional post-Apollo lunar architecture and “Consequences of Success in SETI”

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Stars - Just in time for Halloween, astronomers have taken a haunting new portrait of the sun. In a color-coded image from the Hinode spacecraft, the sun glows eerily orange as though celebrating with earthly spooks. See article.
g Abodes - A Queen's University researcher has discovered a mineral that could explain the mountainous landscape of Mars, and have implications for NASA's next mission to the planet. See http://www.
g Cosmicus - Book alert: Here’s a neat, fictional post-Apollo, Shuttle-derived lunar architecture as portrayed in Homer Hickam's "Back to the Moon.”
g Aftermath - Here’s another “old” piece worth reading: “Consequences of Success in SETI: Lessons from the History of Science,” given during a Bioastronomy Symposium in 1993. See http://www.nidsci.org/articles/steve_dick.php.