Saturday, October 07, 2006

Uranus black cloud, symbiogenesis and technology’s affect on civilization

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 - NASA and Italian scientists using the Swift spacecraft have for the first time determined what the particle jets streaming from black holes are made of. The jets observed by Swift contain about the mass of Jupiter if it were pulverized and blasted out into intergalactic space. See
g Abodes - Just as we near the end of the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, winds whirl and clouds churn 2 billion miles away in the atmosphere of Uranus, forming a dark vortex large enough to engulf two-thirds of the United States. See
g Life - Twenty years have passed since the publication of “Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution,” co-authored by Lynn Margulis and her son Dorion Sagan. In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Margulis explains one of the book’s central ideas: symbiogenesis. See
. For Part II of the interview, see:
g Cosmicus - The continual advancement of technology will be critical in determining whether humanity will evolve into a true global civilization or destroy itself in the next century, a panel of experts said this week. See