Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Space diamonds and organic molecules in the interstellar void

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 - Researchers have developed a strategy for finding diamonds in space that can be 25,000 times smaller than a grain of sand. These tiny particles could provide insight into the distribution of molecules in the Universe that are important for the origin of life. See article.
g Abodes - Astronomers have discovered that terrestrial planets might form around most of the nearby, Sun-like stars in our galaxy. The finding has important implications in the search for habitable planets. See article.
g Life - A two-year survey of enormous interstellar dust clouds has turned up eight organic molecules in two different regions of space. One is a stellar nursery awash in light while the other is a cold, starless void. See article.
g Message - Here's an intriguing hypothesis concerning the nature of extraterrestrial messages to Earth. It is based on the assumptions that aliens exist in abundance in the galaxy, that they are benevolent toward Earth-based life forms and that the lack of any human detection of extraterrestrials is due to an embargo designed to prevent any premature disclosure of their existence. It is argued that any embargo not involving alien force must be a leaky one designed to allow a gradual disclosure of the alien message and its gradual acceptance on the part of the general public over a very long time-scale. The communication may take the form of what is now considered magic, and may therefore be misinterpreted as "magic" or a hoax by contemporary governments and scientists. See article.
g Imagining - Looking for some classic science fiction alien movies? Here's a fairly exhaustive list, with brief explanations of each. Now in how each one the aliens really are just mythical monsters that play on human psychology (specifically fear or revulsion). Such films really say less about the evolution of potential extraterrestrial lifeforms and civilizations than about the evolution of human beings and our culture.

No comments: