Thursday, September 11, 2008

Origin of comets and creatures that can survive in vacuum of space

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 have identified an interesting solar system object whose orbit is backwards around the sun and which may help us understand the origin of certain comets. The finding also could yield clues about the early solar system. See article.
g Life - Tiny invertebrates called 'water bears' can survive in the vacuum of space, a European Space Agency experiment has shown. They are the first animals known to be able to survive the harsh combination of low pressure and intense radiation found in space. See article.
g Message -If we are to learn about distant life, it must make itself perceptible. As far as we can see, only life that has followed our own evolution to the extent of being able to send some mark of its presence across space can be found. This must mean that intelligence develops naturally out of evolving life, that it can make signals capable of traversing space, and that, for some period of time at least, it wants to make its presence known (or at least does not conceal it!). If these conditions exist anywhere, we might hope to detect creatures far older and more capable than ourselves. Exploration would then cross a new frontier; the frontier of an intelligence biologically wholly unrelated to our own. See article.
g Learning - The Challenger Center for Space Science Education's Board of Directors recently welcomed a new member to its ranks: Dr. S. Alan Stern. See article.
g Aftermath - If we do make contact with extraterrestrials, they’ll probably be a Type II or III Kardashev civilization. What’s a Kardashev civilization? See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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