Monday, August 04, 2008

Water ice found on Mars and life on super-Earths

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 - Quote of the Day: “We are all made of star stuff.” – Carl Sagan
g Abodes -When Phoenix landed on the Martian surface, the spacecraft’s thruster exhaust blew away dirt and exposed a hard surface. Cracks now have appeared in this bright-toned area, which was nicknamed “Snow Queen” due to the assumption it is made of water ice. See article.
g Life - In the past few years, astronomers have discovered super-Earths, terrestrial planets many times the mass of Earth, orbiting distant stars. In this essay, Ray Villard discusses how we could study life forms that may exist on those alien worlds. See article.
g Message -How can SETI scientists be sure they’ve picked up intelligence and not just the cosmic gurgle of a completely natural object? How can they know they’re not merely harkening to the ticking beat of a pulsar, the whoosh of a quasar or perhaps the lasing bray of a molecular gas cloud? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - Quote of the Day: The study of the cosmos “gives man an exalted heart, and an eye which reaches beyond the earth, and wings which lift one into the incommensurable.” – Jean Paul
g Aftermath - Freelance writer Mark Pendergrast examined the folly of the Anthropic Principle in a 2005 newspaper op-ed.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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