Thursday, August 28, 2008

Environment of Enceladus and physical contact between alien civilizations

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 Abodes -NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pinpointed where Enceladus' icy jets erupt from at the moon's surface. The new images may help reveal what type of environment exists on the moon, and whether or not Enceladus could be a habitat for life. See article.
g Message -Interstellar communication took a giant leap forward when a Ukrainian space center sent several messages across the cosmos hoping to reach extraterrestrials 30-40 light years away. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Learning -Astrobiology, the study of life as a planetary phenomenon, aims to understand the fundamental nature of life on Earth and the possibility of life elsewhere. To achieve this goal,
astrobiologists have initiated unprecedented communication among the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, and geology. Astrobiologists also use insights from information and systems theory to evaluate how those disciplines function and interact. The fundamental questions of what “life” means and how it arose have brought in broad philosophical concerns, while the practical limits of space exploration have meant that engineering plays an important role as well. See article.
g Aftermath - It was not suggested outside of science fiction — and there only after the 1890s — that extraterrestrials might come to Earth, except for a few believers in interplanetary spirit travel by mortals (an idea now well established among occultists). Among these was the well-known Belgian writer Maurice Maeterlinck, who, in what was perhaps the earliest conception of ETs as “gods from outer space,” reasoned that since no beings from other worlds have used their advanced science to abolish suffering on Earth, “Is there not reason to fear that we are forever alone in the universe, and that no other world has ever been more intelligent or better than our own?” But this, the first serious “Where are they?” argument, was not known to the general public and in any case would not have carried weight, since it depended on the concept of disembodied spirits. Physical contact between worlds was not thought possible outside of fiction. See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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