Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Organic gases in possible planet-forming region and favorite fallacies about SETI

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 discovered large amounts of organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around a distant star. The findings provide a better view of early planet formation and could aid in the search for habitable extrasolar planets. See article.
g Message - Many common ideas about SETI just aren't true, but that doesn't prevent them from popping up in popular articles, blogs, books, and even movies. Here are three favorite fallacies about SETI. See article.
g Aftermath - Scientists such as the SETI Institute's John Billingham and Jill Tarter have taken the lead in planning for the day we might receive a signal from life beyond Earth. Working with diplomats and space lawyers, they have helped develop protocols that guide the activities of SETI scientists who think they may have detected extraterrestrial intelligence. Note: This story is a couple of years old. See article.

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