Thursday, September 27, 2007

Life near Mars' tallest mountain, the ‘Search for Alien Artifacts’ and young children know math and

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 - NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is examining several features on Mars that address the role of water at different times in Martian history. See article.
g Life - A research paper presented in early March at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, an annual get-together of experts in fields ranging from moon exploration to asteroid detection and astrobiology ignited debate about the prospect of “life” either “having existed,” or maybe even being “present now” in what are thought to be caves on a volcano named Arsia Mons near Mars' tallest mountain. See article.
g Message - In SETI program planning, higher priority should be given in the near-term to those probe and artifact searches which can be carried out quickly and inexpensively, in preference to larger more expensive beacon searches which should be mounted in the decades ahead. See article.
g Cosmicus - A NASA probe blasted into space early today, kicking off an unprecedented mission to explore the two largest asteroids in the solar system. See article.
g Learning - Young children can perform certain kinds of math operations before ever receiving any kind formal math training, a new study reports. See article.
g Imagining - Like stories about alien biologies/environments? Be sure to scour your favorite used bookstores for any of these fine novels by James White: "Hospital Station" (1962), "Star Surgeon" (1963), "Ambulance Ship" (1979), "Sector General" (1983) and "Code Blue–Emergency" (1987).
g Aftermath - Hundreds of astronomers recently learned that life in outer space is likely to lack green eyes and be far more prosaic, tiny and, quite possibly, completely unlike life as we know it. This blunt appraisal came from the University of Washington's Center for Astrobiology and Early Evolution, one of the first programs in the country to give an advanced degree in astrobiology. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

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