Saturday, February 10, 2007

Relic radiation from dead stars and what we should say to extraterrestrials

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 - A team of astronomers has announced the first catalog of a new type of gamma-ray source, a dozen clouds of "relic" radiation from dead stars that reveal information about the energetic past of these celestial objects. See
g Abodes - Analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks has shown that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history. See
g Message - Here’s a new take on searching for extraterrestrial life: A U.C. Berkeley student is looking for signs of advanced civilizations that have enclosed their home star within a giant sphere at In Search of Dyson Spheres. See
g Learning - Darwin's 198th Birthday will occur on Feb. 12; it will also be the 148th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book, “On The Origin of Species.” The objective of Darwin Day Celebration is to encourage existing institutions worldwide, such as municipalities, public and private schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums, churches, private organizations and individuals to celebrate Science and Humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin's birthday! See
g Aftermath - What should we say to an extraterrestrial? Try the World Wide Web. SETI astronomer Seth Shostak opines at