Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Titan’s electrical storms and symposium on possible nature of life on other planets

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 determined that Saturn's moon Titan could have electrical storms occurring in its atmosphere. Such storms might provide energy for the formation of important organic and pre-biotic molecules. See article.
g Life - Western Australia's Pilbara region continues to yield tantalizing clues on the origin of Earth's life forms. See article.
g Message -Fermi’s Paradox, Part II: Could galactic empires exist? In a previous article, we noted that there has been plenty of time for aliens keen on colonizing the Milky Way to pull it off. However, we see no signs of galactic federation ("Star Trek" aside). Why does the cosmos look so untouched and unconquered? What is keeping advanced extraterrestrials from claiming every star system in sight? See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Learning - First-year students from UQ's Advanced Study Program in Science have organized a national symposium to explore ideas such as the origins of the universe and the possible nature of life on other planets. See article.
g Imagining -Here’s a neat Web site: The Exorarium. At the Exorarium, visitors get a chance to mix and match the same ingredients that brought about human life, shaping their own unique intelligent life forms. For example, you might start with a hot or cool star, a heavy or light planet, one with lots of water or a desert world, and so on – until a unique ecosystem takes shape before your eyes … a family tree leading to the ultimate outcome, a species of intelligent life. See article.
g Aftermath - Should we really expect extraterrestrials to be sympathetic to our pleas to be altruistic because of the symbolic kinship we might share with them? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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