Friday, October 05, 2007

Wobbles on Mars, weather balloons for Venus and how common are other civilizations in the universe?

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 - Wobbles on Mars cause ice ages that are much more dramatic than those on Earth, says astronomer Norbert Schorghofer of the University of Hawaii. See article.
g Cosmicus - By using unique balloons to study the atmosphere and surface of Venus, scientists are hoping to learn more about climate change on Earth. A team of engineers recently tested a prototype of one such balloon. See article.
g Learning - What is an astrobiologist, and can you become one? See article.
g Imagining - How common are other civilizations in the universe? This question has fascinated humanity for centuries, and although we still have no definitive answer, a number of recent developments have brought it once again to the fore. Chief among these is the confirmation - after a long wait and several false starts - that planets exist outside our solar system. See article. My apologies in advance for the Web site that I found this otherwise credible article on.
g Aftermath - How will humanity react when we receive our first interstellar phone call from ET? Though not a new piece, SETI astronomer Seth Shostak offers some intriguing thoughts.

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