Friday, February 15, 2008

What really bugged the dinosaurs and communication between two species

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 - In 2005, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft directed an impactor into comet Tempel 1 and collected valuable information about the composition of comets. Now the spacecraft is turning its largest telescope toward the stars in order to search for exosolar planets. See article.
g Life - Asteroid impacts and massive volcanic flows occurred around the time dinosaurs became extinct, but a new book argues that the world’s mightiest creatures may have been brought down by tiny, disease-carrying insects. See article.
g Message - In the absence of knowledge of physical and cultural clues, communication between two species can be almost impossible — almost. See article.
g Aftermath - Add one more worry to the computerized world of the 21st century. Could a signal from the stars broadcast by an alien intelligence also carry harmful information, in the spirit of a computer virus? Could star folk launch a "disinformation" campaign - one that covers up aspects of their culture? Perhaps they might even mask the "real" intent of dispatching a message to other civilizations scattered throughout the Cosmos. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

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