Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Candidate stars for extrasolar life, how to best conduct the hunt for ET and the Drake Equation

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 - Quote of the Day: “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,/the moon and the stars which thou hast established;/What is man that thou art mindful of him,/and the son of man that thou dost care for him?” — Psalms 8: 3-4
g Abodes -The list of candidates in our solar system most likely to harbor life or show signs of past life has narrowed in recent months. A hot debate now rages, inside NASA and throughout the science world, over where and how best to conduct the hunt. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Life - One of the fundamental requirements for life as we know it is the presence of liquid water on (or below) a planet’s surface. See
g Message - Is there life "out there"? If so, is it intelligent life? One way we can address the issue is to make a reasoned guess, based upon everything we know about astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and a host of other disciplines. Many years ago the radio astronomer Frank Drake did just this, combining all the "knowledge" in the form of a mathematical equation now named for him: The Drake Equation. See article.
g Cosmicus - In an exclusive interview with NASA’s Michael Coats, the newly appointed Johnson Space Center director detailed the challenges he faces in the new post. See
g Learning - Theorizing and model building are one thing; it is another to go out and get data that will support science and the acquisition of new knowledge. For this purpose, NASA has instituted its Astrobiology Program to study the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe. Existing programs and new endeavors will be brought together in a multidisciplinary fashion to tackle the questions surrounding life's place in the organization of the universe. In so doing, NASA has adopted six canonical questions to use as guideposts as its programs are developed. See Note: This article is from 2002.

No comments: