Friday, September 26, 2008

Life from Sun’s stellar siblings and the psychology of interstellar communication

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 - An international team of researchers has identified a novel place to look for life: on planets that orbit the Sun's stellar siblings. See article.
g Abodes - After climbing out of Victoria crater, NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity is now making a long trek to a new crater called Endeavour. This large crater could hold more clues about the history of Mars' climate. See article.
g Message - While advanced civilizations might be tempted to use optical means such as lasers to send information between the stars, there are some good reasons that nearly all the major Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence experiments are looking for radio waves instead. See article.
g Cosmicus - Astronauts aboard China's Shenzhou 7 spacecraft prepared for the country's first-ever spacewalk on Friday by readying the space suits to be used the following day. See article.
g Learning -What is the joy of stargazing? See article.
g Aftermath - If we establish communication with a civilization even as close as 100 light years from Earth, the round-trip time for a message and its reply is 200 years. What will be the psychology of a civilization that can engage in a meaningful conversation with this sort of delay? How is such a conversation to be established? What should the content of such a conversation be? These are the questions which motivate our title: "Minds and Millennia: The Psychology of Interstellar Communication." See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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