Monday, September 22, 2008

Supervolcano powers ecosystem and the SHGb02+14a signal

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 -Yellowstone is known for its hot springs and geysers, and the unique forms of life that inhabit them. Scientists are now learning more about the mysterious 'supervolcano' that powers these environments, and whether or not the giant could erupt again. See article.
g Intelligence -Quote of the Day: “What would have taken one thousand generations in the past may now happen in a single generation. Biological evolution is on a runaway course toward severe instability. . . . from life itself acting through a species of its own creation, an immensely successful species, filling every corner of the planet with continually growing throngs, increasingly subjugating and exploiting the world.” - Christian de Duve, Nobel Laureate,1974
g Message -The Toledo Blade has written an editorial about a recent signal emanating from a point in deep space between the constellations Pisces and Aries, more than 1,000 light years away (the infamous SHGb02+14a signal). It’s a positive sign to see mainstream media treat astrobiology seriously — an indication that the general public also is becoming more accepting. Read the editorial. Note: This editorial is from 2004.
g Cosmicus -NASA astronaut Mike Gernhardt is in charge of developing rovers and spacesuits for the next round of human exploration of the moon. This summer, however, he spent a week piloting a one-person submarine through the depths of a lake in British Columbia, Canada. See article.
g Learning -Once it was asked in whispers, or with winks. The timid among us, though undeniably curious, feared raised eyebrows. Jokes about little green men. Who could take such a question seriously, yank it from the misty realms of science fiction and drop it under the searchlight of science? Well, our national space agency, for one. What’s more, NASA seems pretty confident these days about the answer: Astrobiology, as defined on an official agency website, is “the study of the living universe.” See article.
g Aftermath - Would ET vote? What effect will ET’s political philosophy have on ours once contact is made? See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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