Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tracking asteroids, searching for life ‘as we don’t know it’ and ‘Transfigurations’

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 Abodes - They are the celestial equivalent of sonograms. But their hazy outlines and ghostly features do not document the in-vivo development of a future taxpayer. Instead, they chronicle the explanatory comings-and-goings of some of Earth's least known, most nomadic, and at times most impact neighbors. See article.
g Message - At the Astrobiology Science Conference last March, Astrobiology Magazine organized a debate about alien life. In the final part of this seven-part series, Astrobiology Magazine’s Henry Boatman asks how we should search for life “as we don’t know it.” See
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity: “Life on the Edge.” The lesson plans examine the question, “Is there life on other planets in our solar system? No one knows, but if there is it's probably a microorganism that thrives in extreme environments. Students will follow a dog sled team to a high mountain peak, make "Planets in a Bottle," and learn more about nature's extremophiles. See
g Imagining - Like stories about communicating with aliens? Be sure to scour your favorite used bookstores for Michael Bishop’s "Transfigurations" (1979), in which ET converses by changing colors.
g Aftermath - What are the theological implications of a universe willed with many intelligent beings from many other worlds? See