Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The hypothetical planet Daisyworld and estimating the frequency for communicating with an extrasolar civilization

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 -Scientists recently gathered to debate the recent IAU decision to demote Pluto from 'planet' status. Pluto may be small, but objects like Pluto still undergo important geophysical processes that can teach us about planetary formation. See article.
g Life - On the hypothetical planet Daisyworld, flowers control the climate. Black daisies absorb sunlight and warm the planet. See article.
g Message -Estimating the frequency for communicating with an extrasolar civilization is a multi-dimensional challenge. The answer, according to two scientists at the Hungarian Astronomical Association, is less like an equation and more like a matrix. See article. This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus -The water locked underneath icecaps or glaciers can tell us about our planet's past and its possibly warmer future. Similar environments on distant worlds could tell us whether life can originate in these harsh conditions. To study the icy depths, a Swedish team of researchers is designing a tiny submersible that can slip down a narrow borehole. See article.
g Learning -Malcolm Walter has moved his collection of rocks over from Macquarie University to the University of NSW, where he has joined Brett Neilan and his colleagues in an expanded multidisciplinary team as part of the new Australian Centre for Astrobiology. See article.
g Aftermath - While most depictions of extraterrestrials are confined to science fiction, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that some form of alien life exists somewhere in the universe, according to a new survey. See article. Note: This article is from 2005.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: