Friday, June 01, 2007

Earth through ET’s eyes, radiation for food and first mission to Pluto

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 Abodes - Astronomers on alien planets almost certainly have the Earth listed as a world teeming with life, a leading scientist says. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
gLife - Researchers have found that fungi may be able to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring growth. The findings may have profound implications for how we understand the cycles of biologically available energy for life, and could also have important applications for space exploration. See
g Intelligence - Quote of the Day: "One of the distinctions and triumphs of the advance of science has been the deprovincialization of our world view." — Carl Sagan
g Cosmicus - NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has lifted off into the unknown. This first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt — a distant district of ancient, icy, rocky objects on the solar system’s outer banks — is assured to transmit back to Earth numbers of revelations. See
g Learning - Need a map of a planet in our solar system? Try this database of JPL/Caltech-generated planetary maps: