Monday, February 04, 2008

Earliest step of planet formation in our solar system and potential methods of communicating with far-off 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 Abodes - Researchers have dated the earliest step of planet formation in our solar system. Understanding the processes of solar system formation can give us insight into Earth's history, and indicate how Earth-like planets may form elsewhere in the universe. See article.
g Message - Some of extraterrestrial expert Frank Drake’s beliefs may leave people bewildered. Speaking to an audience of 300 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004, Drake, director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in Mountain View, Calif., explained the reasons why he believes intelligent life exists in the universe and highlighted potential methods of communicating with far-off civilizations. See article.
g Cosmicus - A vertically mounted treadmill is helping scientists develop exercises for astronauts on long-duration missions. The techniques will help counteract the deleterious effects of space travel, such as bone loss and muscle atrophy, and will help keep astronauts healthy on lengthy missions to the Moon and Mars. See article.
g Learning - Questions such as "are we alone?" and "what does the future hold for life on Earth?" have been pondered for millennia. But only in recent decades have advances in science and technology allowed us to confront the universe with some hope of answers. This explains the emergence of scientific journals devoted to life in the solar system and beyond. One of the first is Astrobiology, a US-based journal launched in 2001. See article. Note: This article is from 2005.

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