Friday, October 24, 2008

Rocky planets staying hot and aftereffects of contact between two alien civilizations

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 determined that young, rocky planets stay hot longer than previously believed. The heat generated by these planets could make them easier to spot around distant stars. See article.
g Life - Fossils from an organism known as the 'fishapod' are helping scientists understand how life moved out of the sea and began to walk on dry land. The study is providing new insights about this important step in the evolution of life on Earth. See article.
g Message -Interstellar transmissions via energy-markers (photons) or matter-markers (probes) appear to be energetically indistinguishable alternatives for advanced technical societies. Since only Type II and Type III civilizations realistically can afford beacons or star probe technology, alternative distinguishability criteria suggest the possible superiority of intelligent artifacts for contact and communication missions among extraterrestrial cultures. A balanced, more cost-effective Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence strategy is needed. See article.
g Cosmicus - The ailing Hubble Space Telescope could be snapping pictures of the heavens again as early as Saturday after engineers fixed one of the problems that has largely shut down the instrument for the last three weeks. See article.
g Learning -Unfortunately, the controversy over the theory of evolution continues even as science offers all people a way to know about the natural world and how it works.. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Aftermath - Among scientists involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, it’s quite common to be focused on the future, ever mindful that it could take years, or even decades, to find a signal from otherworldly intelligence. But if historian Steve Dick has his way, astronomers will also turn their attention toward the past as they search for life beyond Earth — to discover the aftereffects of contact between two intelligent cultures. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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