Saturday, June 09, 2007

'Boring’ light may be good news, Mars’ salty sea and microbial communities in sub-ice water

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 - “Boring” light from red dwarf star Gliese 581 means better odds for extraterrestrial life in that planetary system, according to University of British Columbia astronomer Jaymie Matthews. See
g Abodes - A salty sea once washed over the plains of Mars at the Opportunity rover's landing site, creating a life-friendly environment more earthlike than any known on another world. See Note: This article is from 2004.
g Life - The discovery that subglacial lakes in Antarctica are interconnected means that proper procedures may need to be established before scientists can penetrate through the ice to study them. Sub-ice water appears to be important in many different processes fundamental to Antarctica and our planet, and they may also support unique and fragile microbial communities. See
g Intelligence -Quote of the Day: “There is nothing so big nor so crazy that one out of a million technological societies may not feel itself driven to do, provided it is physically possible.” — Freeman J. Dyson
g Cosmicus - Space settlement is a unique concept for colonization beyond the Earth. While most thinking regarding the expansion of the human race outward into space has focused on the colonization of the surfaces of other planets, the space settlement concept suggests that planetary surfaces may not be the best location for extraterrestrial colonies. Artificial, closed-ecology habitats in free orbit would seem to have many advantages over any planetary home (Earth included). See