Friday, May 23, 2008

Phoenix on track for Mars landing and if extraterrestrials are motivated to cooperate

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 - What is the habitable zone for the nearby Alpha Centauri star system?
g Abodes - A new computer model suggests that the Moon may not have been the only reminder of the big collision that created it. See article.
g Life - Nobody has yet seen an extraterrestrial, which may sound like a problem in establishing a science of astrobiology. But in the past 20 years or so, scientists have found clues that life may be quite common in the universe, and many are hopeful that they will soon find hard evidence of life beyond Earth. See article. Note: This article is from autumn 2006.
g Intelligence - Quote of the Day: Other words “…have men on them, and these have houses and canals just as we do.” – Anaxgoras
g Message - Here's an interesting interview of Jill Tarter, the director of the SETI Institute, by The Montreal Mirror from 2002. See article.
g Cosmicus - Phoenix, NASA’s latest mission to Mars, is a lander that will touch down in the planet’s northern polar region on Sunday. It will search for evidence that liquid water, and a habitable environment for life, have been present there in the recent past. But first the spacecraft has to land safely. See article.
g Learning - A computer program called Second Life provides educators with unique opportunities to connect with students in a virtual landscape – including astrobiology. See article.
g Aftermath - When we first meet extraterrestrials, will we and they be able to converse? An MIT professor argues that we will — provided they are motivated to cooperate — because we'll both think similar ways. Note: This article is from 1985. See article.