Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Delays in verifying potential ET signals, what we should say to an extraterrestrial and Endeavour returns home

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 Life - Physicists have discovered life-like structures that form from inorganic substances in space. The findings hint at the possibility that life beyond Earth may not necessarily use carbon-based molecules as its building blocks. See article.
g Message - Most SETI programs scan the sky looking for strong radio signals. Any signals that are deemed interesting are put on a list for follow-up observations weeks, months — even years later. Long delays in verification of potential ET signals sometimes generate tantalizing, but ultimately frustrating, stories. See article. Note: This article is from March 2003.
g Cosmicus - Shuttle Endeavour sailed into the Kennedy Space Center today, touching down on Runway 15 at 12:32 p.m. EDT Tuesday after traveling more than five million miles on its 20th spaceflight. See article.
g Learning - Are you a future SETI scientist? See article. Note: This article is from Feb. 2001.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Be sure to read Brian Aldiss’ 1964 classic novel “The Dark Light Years.” Read a review.
g Aftermath - Would should we say to an extraterrestrial? Try the World Wide Web. SETI astronomer Seth Shostak opines.