Friday, July 04, 2008

Prospecting for in a molecular cloud and volcanic eruptions beneath Arctic ice

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 Wolf 424 AB?
g Abodes -A research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has uncovered evidence of explosive volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ice-covered surface of the Arctic Ocean. Such violent eruptions of splintered, fragmented rock - known as pyroclastic deposits - were not thought possible at great ocean depths because of the intense weight and pressure of water and because of the composition of seafloor magma and rock. See article.
g Life - Scientists are using the giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to go prospecting in a rich molecular cloud in our Milky Way Galaxy. They seek to discover new, complex molecules in interstellar space that may be precursors to life. See article.
g Message - What technological manifestations would make an advanced extraterrestrial civilization detectable? Note: This paper was written in 1992. See article.
g Aftermath - Book alert: You may have to really scour used book stores for this one: 1976’s “ETI: The First Encounter” considers the consequences to man's view of himself and his world of the first proven contact — when it comes — with beings from another planet. Edited by James L. Christian, this book led the way in reflecting on the next stage in man's gradual self-discovery. Click here for the table of contents and ISBN.

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