Friday, July 11, 2008

Drizzle on Mars and how to become an astrobiologist

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 Gliese 674?
g Abodes -A new study of Martian soil suggests there was once enough water in Mars' atmosphere for a light drizzle to reach the ground. The finding has important implications in understanding the potential for past life on Mars. See article.
g Message - During the early 1980s, David Brin offered an explanation for Fermi’s Paradox, which asked why if extraterrestrial life existed it wasn’t on Earth. Brin’s answer: The Zoo Hypothesis. Here’s a copy of that groundbreaking paper, “The 'Great Silence': The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Life.” See article.
g Cosmicus -A new study offers a simplified technique for detecting biological molecules in Martian rock. The equipment is too large to be put on a rover, but it could be used to analyze samples brought back from Mars. See article.
g Learning -What is an astrobiologist - and how do I become one? See article.
g Aftermath - What affect would the discovery of alien life have on the story-telling genre that inspires the search for it — science fiction? See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future