Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Planet near end of its life, ET signals probably are cascading through your body right now and recognizing alien intelligence

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 - Scientists may have solved a discrepancy between the number of extremely small, faint galaxies predicted to exist near the Milky Way and the number actually observed. See article.
g Abodes - For the first time, astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a star near the end of its life. The finding may yield clues about the distant future of Earth when our own Sun begins to die. See article.
g Life - For a long time, people thought that all organisms made a living pretty much like we do. Which is to say that we thought everything ate. See article.
g Intelligence - It turns out that older men chasing younger women contributes to human longevity and the survival of the species, according to new findings. See article.
g Message - If extraterrestrials are out there, signals that would prove their existence are cascading over your body right now. Needless to say, you don’t notice. The challenge for SETI researchers is to build an instrument that will. Rising to the challenge, the SETI Institute and others are developing new search strategies and telescopes, encouraging some scientists to speculate that a signal detection will occur in the next decade or two. See article.
g Cosmicus - Quote of the Day: “… the Moon is a harsh mistress.” — Robert A. Heinlein
g Learning - Here’s a neat Web page that asks “What are our chances of actually recognizing an alien intelligence for what it is?” What if ET does not say "Take me to your leader" from an obviously technologically superior spaceship? Will we know if it’s intelligent? It draws in part upon Stanley Weinbaum's famous short story, "A Martian Odyssey.” See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Jayge Carr’s "The Wonderous Works of His Hands," anthologized in “Alien Encounters” (edited by Jan Finder).
g Aftermath - Quote of the Day: "This is the century for the discovery of extraterrestrial life. It is an incredibly exciting time." - Conway Morris