Monday, June 23, 2008

Enceladus' frozen ocean and what Phoenix can tell us about the possibility for life on Mars

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 Luyten’s Star?
g Abodes - Three years ago, surprising evidence came out for an ocean underneath the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. But a new report indicates just how hard it may be to keep water from freezing on this tiny moon. See article.
g Life - In this interview, William Boynton talks about the TEGA instrument on the Phoenix Lander, and explains what it can tell us about the possibility for life on Mars. See article.
g Message - Is METI, or “Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, a viable option? See article.
g Learning - Here's a neat classroom activity, courtesy of NASA: "The Drake Equation." Students estimate the number of civilizations in the galaxy by first estimating the number of craters on the Moon and then by performing estimates of multiple-variable systems culminating in the use of the Drake Equation. See article.
g Imagining - Psychologist Frederick Malmstrom, currently a visiting scholar at the U.S. Air Force Academy, believes that "visions" of space aliens are actually the image of the prototypical female face that is hardwired into every baby human's brain. When Malmstrom altered a picture of a woman in a way consistent with the characteristics of a newborn's vision (astigmatism and a shallow focal plane), the result looked very much like a big-eyed alien. See article.
g Aftermath - As SETI's scientists plan for their first contact with other worlds, who better to consult with than anthropologists, who specialize in encounters with exotic cultures? And thus, over the past several years the SETI Institute has repeatedly brought together anthropologists and scholars from other disciplines, in an attempt to bridge the gap between humans and extraterrestrials. See article.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

No comments: