Sunday, January 27, 2008

Art for space and ‘Contact with Alien Civilizations’

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 - Sunlight glinting off alien oceans may help astronomers spot water on other worlds. See article.
g Abodes - New data shows that Mars possesses high-level clouds that are sufficiently dense to cast a shadow on the surface. It's the first confirmation that these wispy clouds made from carbon dioxide actually exist on the arid planet. See article.
g Life - Researchers studying microbes in hot springs have made a surprising discovery about the geological record of life and the environment of Earth. The discovery may even affect how scientists search for evidence of life on other planets. See article.
g Intelligence - U.S. researchers are looking for ways to prevent cognitive dysfunction - especially in the elderly - following an operation. See article.
g Message - Similar to SETI – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, where one listens for messages sent to Earth – METI means "Messaging to ETI": Sending both scientific and artistic messages to the stars. So, METI Art represents not Art about Space, but Art for Space. In other words, METI Art is the creative work of Earth destined for inclusion in the Planetary Consciousnesses of supposed extraterrestrial civilizations. See article.
g Learning - The Web site Astronomy Expert contains useful informational articles focused on studying the stars, planets and outer space phenomena that are (according to the site) written by professional journalists and experts, aimed at middle and highs school learners.
g Aftermath - Book alert: Beep, beep, bop, be-bop. These could represent a new song or a communication from intelligent species on another world. With discoveries of more and more planets circling far away suns, there seems an increasing possibility that we have fellow, smart occupants sharing this universe. Michael Michaud takes this consideration seriously in his book Contact with Alien Civilizations. In a very forwarding looking text, he puts sound reasoning into analyzing the issues about if and when we find we're not alone.