Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Enceladus flyby and alien summit

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 -Cassini will soon fly within 16 miles of Enceladus' surface to measure molecules in the Saturnian moon's environment. The data will provide insight into the early history of the solar system. See article.
g Life - University of Hawaii researchers will expand investigations and education on the origin, history and distribution of water and its relationship to life in the universe under a new multimillion-dollar NASA astrobiology grant. See article.
g Message -Book alert: Scour your used book store shelves for “Life Beyond Earth”, by Timothy Ferris. Rock-solid science writer Ferris has covered this ground before. In the two-hour PBS documentary that he wrote and narrated - which shares the title, text, and many of the images of this generously illustrated book - Ferris tackles two age-old questions about the potentially universal nature of life: Are we alone, and, if not, is anybody listening?
g Learning -The origins of life in our galaxy and the search for alien life outside our solar system will be at the forefront of discussions by experts in Edinburgh. See article.
g Imagining -Like stories about alien anthropology and cultures? Then be sure to read Robert Silverberg’s “Downward to the Earth” (1970), in which a colonial administrator tries to do justice to alien culture.
g Aftermath - What do modern explorations reveal about alien life and the role that humans play in the story of the cosmos? Join internationally recognized planetary scientist David Grinspoon for his lively discussion of recent findings in astrobiology. WBGH recorded the discussion earlier during 2005 in Boston.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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