Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If everybody is listening and nobody transmitting and the Mars Phoenix Lander prepares to land

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 - Arctic ice formed about 45 million years ago – roughly 14 million years ahead of previous predictions – according to new research published in Nature. An international team of scientists, including Brown geologist Steven Clemens, says this startling evidence shows that glaciers formed in tandem at Earth’s poles, providing important insights into global climate change. See article.
g Message - Whenever the director of SETI research presents a public lecture, she can almost guarantee that “What If everybody is listening and nobody is transmitting?” will be one of the questions the audience asks. See article.
g Cosmicus - In less than two weeks, the Mars Phoenix Lander could realize scientists' long-delayed dream of directly finding Martian ice for the first time. To date, the evidence for water on Mars has been indirect. See article.
g Learning - Biddeford Middle School students were rocketed into orbit Friday during Space Day, a day-long event featuring guest speakers from various space and aviation fields and activities designed to encourage students to think about the effort it takes to send a rocket into space. See article.