Saturday, August 09, 2008

Looking for alien oceans and nonreproducing alien probes

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 propose to find water on alien planets by looking for the glint of starlight from distant oceans. See article.
g Life - Fans of extraterrestrial life may have been disappointed when internet-fed rumors of Martian life ended in a NASA press conference on soil composition. But they can take solace in a newly popular theory that suggests the rest of space may teem with microbes. See article.
g Message - Any nonreproducing alien probes discovered in the Solar System during the normal course of future SETI research would most likely have been sent by extraterrestrial civilizations located within a 1000 light-year radius of the Sun, whereas any self-reproducing devices similarly detected probably originated far outside this exploration sphere. See article.
g Cosmicus -Solar energetic particles (SEPs), especially those of high energies, can negatively affect the near-Earth space weather environment and spacecraft. The SEPs can originate from either energization at a solar flare site or by interplanetary shockwaves associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The charged energetic particles consist of protons, electrons, and heavy ions—primarily moving along the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields—can reach Earth in a matter of a few hours and dose the geospace environment with hazardous radiation. See article.
g Learning -Astrobiology is young enough to still have vocal critics; in particular, those who think that "astrobiology" is nothing more than a hope that life will someday be discovered beyond Earth. See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s an intriguing article that is frequently referenced in astrobiology papers: "The Consequences of a Discovery: Different Scenarios", by astronomer Ivan Almar. Note: This article is from 1995.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: