Monday, October 20, 2008

Grab-bag comet and maybe we’ve already received an alien message

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 - Astronomers have discovered their first grab-bag comet. Radar observations of the small, icy nucleus of a comet known as Tuttle suggest that it consists of two clumps that touch each other, like the two halves of the number eight. See article.
g Message -If we received a message from an extraterrestrial civilization, would we necessarily realize it? SETI has long scanned the skies for evidence of alien transmissions, while others have proposed a hunt for physical artifacts sent by our distant neighbors. But neutrino physicists at the University of Hawaii have proposed yet another possibility: that humans have already received an extraterrestrial communication, and that we might find the message in our existing observations of the stars. See article.
g Cosmicus - Researchers will soon trek to the rocky slopes of Hawaii's Mauna Kea to test a robot designed for lunar prospecting. Scarab will help scientists understand how to extract water, hydrogen and oxygen from the lunar environment to support human missions. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a great NASA Web site for kids: Astro-venture, where children can search for and design their own planet..
g Aftermath - Book alert: You may have to really scour used book stores for this one: 1976’s “ETI: The First Encounter” considers the consequences to man's view of himself and his world of the first proven contact — when it comes — with beings from another planet. Edited by James L. Christian, this book led the way in reflecting on the next stage in man's gradual self-discovery. Click here for the table of contents and ISBN.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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