Saturday, February 09, 2008

Complex organic molecules surrounding distant star and best places to look for extraterrestrial life

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 - Astronomers have found complex organic molecules in a disk of red dust surrounding a distant star. The star is in the late stages of planet formation, suggesting that the basic building blocks of life may be common in planetary systems. See article.
g Life - Quote of the Day: “We may pronounce each orb sustains a race/Of living things adapted to the place.” – Richard Blackmore, “In Creation: A Philosophical Poem in Seven Books”
g Message - With the discovery of the potentially habitable planet Gliese 581 c, astrobiologists are setting their sights on the search for extraterrestrial life. Where are the best places to look? What are the best instruments to perform those searches? How will they do it? See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Aftermath - Will we ever find a primer for decoding messages from extraterrestrials? Last month, anthropologists who gathered for a major conference in Atlanta heard some news that will be sobering for SETI enthusiasts: it may be much more difficult to understand extraterrestrials than many scientists have thought before. See article.

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