Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cosmic winds grapple, mission to Jupiter’s moons and one of the biggest of the Big Questions of Existence

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 - Two stellar titans are waging wars of wind in the first such scene spotted outside the Milky Way Galaxy. See http://space.com/scienceastronomy/070216_wind_crash.html.
g Abodes - Scientists are currently discussing the benefits of studying each of Jupiter's four large moons with a dedicated mission. In a recent talk to the American Geophysical Union, the case was made for visiting Europa in order to learn more about the moon's ocean and possibly the origins of life. See http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.phpop=modload
g Intelligence - When a man fails to help out around the house, his poor performance might be related to a subconscious tendency to resist doing anything his wife wants, a new study suggests. See http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/070214_resistance.html.
g Message - The question of whether we are alone in the universe is one of the biggest of the Big Questions of Existence. One way to settle the matter is to find some cosmic company. A direct approach to this problem is to scan the skies with radio telescopes in the hope of stumbling across a message from an alien civilization. See http://www.teampicard.net/forum/latest-intelligence/
. Note: This article is from 2005.
g Learning - There may be numerous intelligent civilizations on planets throughout our galaxy. That's the hypothesis driving SETI research. We seek evidence of extraterrestrial technology using optical and radio telescopes to search for signals that emanate from other civilized worlds. These places are far, far away. But, when discussing the search with school children, they often simply ask, "Why don't we just go there?" This can be a teachable moment. See http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_devore_distance_031204.
html. Note: This article is from Dec. 2003.