Sunday, July 08, 2007

Unprecedented simulation of cosmic evolution, in search of Dyson Spheres the world of bacteria

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 - By incorporating the physics of black holes into a highly sophisticated model running on a powerful supercomputing system, an international team of scientists has produced an unprecedented simulation of cosmic evolution that verifies and deepens our understanding of relationships between black holes and the galaxies in which they reside. See article.
g Abodes - NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life. 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 Cosmicus - Two NASA spacecraft now have new assignments after successfully completing their missions. Stardust and Deep Impact will now use their flight-proven hardware to make new observations of comets and characterize extrasolar planets. See
g Learning -Here’s a neat set of lesson plans deeply related to astrobiology: "The World of Bacteria." It’s for high school biology students. See
g Imagining -Here’s the indispensable book on science fiction aliens: “Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature.” Having been out a few years now, it may not be on your local bookstore’s shelves. See for a peek inside the book (and ordering information).
g Aftermath - Quote of the Day: “This discovery … will profoundly change the world." — Frank Drake