Sunday, July 20, 2008

Water on the Moon and preparing the public for news that ET exists

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 LP 944-020?
g Abodes - Using new techniques, scientists have discovered for the first time that tiny beads of volcanic glasses collected from two Apollo missions to the Moon contain water. The researchers found that, contrary to previous thought, water was not entirely vaporized in the violent events that formed the Moon. See article.
g Life -A new study has shown bacterial cells can perform a number of tasks without the involvement of DNA. The findings provide a glimpse into what the earliest forms of life on Earth may have looked like. See article.
g Message -Here’s an article in which Dave DeBoer, project engineer for the Allen Telescope Array, discusses what the unique telescope will offer. The development of the Allen Telescope Array is marked by many innovations crafted with the express purpose of building a world-class state-of-the-art astronomical facility at a fraction of the price of existing radio telescopes. See article. Note: This article is from October 2003.
g Learning - The confidence that alien life will ultimately be found is strong enough to have kindled formal discussions among scientists, philosophers, theologians and others about the implications that such a find would have for humanity's view of itself, and how to prepare the public for the news, should it come. See article.
g Aftermath - "Any discovery of extraterrestrial life would raise some challenging questions -- about the origin of life on Earth as well as elsewhere, about the centrality of humankind in the universe, and about the creation story in the Bible," said Connie Bertka, a Unitarian minister with a background in Martian geology. See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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