Monday, January 22, 2007

Forms life may take as it becomes increasingly complex and intelligent, cloud creatures and ‘Networking with our Galactic Neighbors’

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 Life - Most bumblebees are cold-blooded. But a few are warm-blooded and need a warm nest. One type of warm-blooded bumblebee common in the Pacific Northwest has its own version of apartment-building superintendents to help with this. See
g Intelligence - On Radio Astrobiology, the podcast of Astrobiology Magazine, Simon Conway Morris discusses the forms life may take as it becomes increasingly complex and intelligent. See
g Message - Unexplained or incompletely studied astrophysical phenomena such as odd star populations of the galaxy NGC 5907 or the asymmetry of increases and decreases in the brightness of long-period variable stars provide us with a number of locations that may be studied for signs of Dyson Shells. If we free ourselves from anthropocentric perspectives and combine the ideas of Dyson, Minsky and Suffern as well as the technological progress of recent decades, we can envision advanced civilizations at the limits of physical laws. Observations directed towards stars decreasing in visual magnitude or searching for stellar occultations by large cold dark objects, merit serious consideration as future strategies in optical SETI. See
g Cosmicus - The Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on January 10, 2007 was successfully recovered today after being maneuvered to reenter the earth's atmosphere and descend over Bay of Bengal about 140 km East of Sriharikota. See
g Learning - "Teacher, why do I need to learn this?" "What’s it good for?" Students ask these questions when faced with content that seems unrelated to their lives. Motivating students is fundamental to promoting achievement in any classroom, even in science, which encompasses the entire natural world, the whole universe. Good questions and quality experiences support science learning for all students, not just those who are already science-friendly. The relatively new discipline of astrobiology asks great questions that intrigue students. See
g Imagining - Could “cloud creatures” exist on alien worlds? Here’s one writer’s speculations:
g Aftermath - “If we are able to find one extraterrestrial civilization, we should be able to find many,” according to the paper “Networking with our Galactic Neighbors.” “By the year 3000 either we will have abandoned the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or we will have made progress networking with other civilizations in our galaxy. One alternative is that we will first detect a civilization that, like our own, has not yet confirmed the existence of other distant civilizations. This success will accelerate our search efforts and put us in touch, one by one, with many more extraterrestrial societies. Under this alternative we would be founding members of the Galactic Club, that is the largest network of communicating civilizations within our galaxy. Another alternative is that our initial contact will be with a civilization that is already affiliated with the Galactic Club, with the result that we ourselves are offered membership. Whether we help build the first network of civilizations or are inducted into a pre-existing network could have profound implications for Humanity 3000.” For more, read Note: This paper was released in 2000.