Thursday, July 19, 2007

Relic from the early Solar System, probing for alien beacons and FAQ about ‘Star Trek’ aliens

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 -Scientists have found that Saturn's moon Iapetus is a well-preserved relic from the early Solar System. Studying the moon could yield important clues about the history of the outer Solar System. See
g Message -When NASA's Voyager spacecraft left the boundaries our solar system in 2003, it carried a golden record with greetings from our civilization for posterity - or for eventual discovery by space archaeologists from another civilization. The golden record was a beacon to the future. The idea of our own civilization using its probes as surrogate representatives prompts the question: Can we probe for such beacons in our own solar system? See Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus -Scientists are designing new spacesuits that will provide increased mobility for human explorers on the Moon and Mars. The less bulky suits will allow humans to travel more easily and perform intricate scientific experiments on the surface of these distant worlds. See;mode=thread&
g Learning -Here’s a neat classroom activity courtesy of NASA: “Planets in a Bottle.” The lesson plan involves yeast experiments intended for 2nd through 4th grade students. See
g Imagining -Here’s an interesting Web site: FAQ about Star Trek aliens: Though light on evolutionary origin, it’s questions (and answers) often point toward the need for writers to consider that issue.
g Aftermath -If we hear from ET, not only can we expect his civilization to be an old one with a great time lag in correspondence, a SETI astronomer says. Could this limit the impact of extraterrestrial contact upon humanity? See Note: This article is from December 2001.