Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mixed-up solar system and the societal implications of astrobiology

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 -Chemical studies of the comet Wild 2 are challenging views about the history and evolution of the solar system. Such studies could yield important clues about the early formation of the planets. See article.
g Abodes - When the sun was young, it didn't produce enough heat to unfreeze ice on our planet. So why was the early Earth covered in liquid water and not ice? See article.
g Message -Researchers writing in a recent issue of Nature argue that radio signals are not the most efficient way of alerting an extraterrestrial intelligence to our existence — and that anyone out there who is trying to send out a similar message is likely to have reached the same conclusion. Here’s a downloadable NPR report on the conclusions. Note: The radio report is from 2004.
g Aftermath - Here’s an intriguing read: the final report of “The Workshop on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology”. Note: The workshop was held in 1999.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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