Saturday, June 14, 2008

New ways to view the problem of sharing science and beaming Doritos commercials to aliens

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 star system EZ Aquarii ABC?
g Abodes - Controversy still surrounds the life-detection results from NASA's Viking mission of 30 years ago. The Phoenix mission now on Mars may help answer questions raised by Viking, but researchers will need to be able to spot the difference between chemical and biological signatures. See article.
g Life - Some fundamental building blocks of our genetic code might have come from outer space, according to a controversial new meteorite study. See article.
g Message - It could be the longest commercial break in history. Over a six-hour period, high-powered radars in the Arctic Circle broadcast an advertisement into space for the first time. See article.
g Cosmicus - Transistors made from a new kind of material are now being tested in space. The durable new technology could benefit long duration missions to planets like Mars and aid in completing science objectives like the search for signs of life in our solar system. See article.
g Learning - If science communications in astrobiology is about researchers sharing their results, the audience for new findings may well turn out to be a surprising finding in itself. John Horack, one of the principal Internet architects for how a Webby-award winning NASA site found its audience, explains new ways to view the problem of sharing science. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Imagining - Scientifically speaking, are UFOs worth keeping an eye on? Not exactly. See article.
g Aftermath - The structure of terrestrial music might provide clues to creating interstellar messages that could be understood by extraterrestrial intelligence. In the process, he suggests that music may provide a means of communicating "something of our consciousness that is essentially human, regardless of the civilization from which it emerges." Note: This article is from 2002. See article.