Monday, December 15, 2008

Detecting habitable moons around distant, extrasolar planets and a career in SETI

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 Stars - New research may make it easier to detect habitable moons around distant, extrasolar planets. The new method not only identifies moons, but also allows scientists to determine their size and their distance from the host planet. See article.
g Abodes - We may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but hopefully we can judge a moon by its surface. A scientist who worked on the Galileo mission has written a new book about the scratched and splotchy surface of Europa. See article.
g Message - Many common ideas about SETI just aren’t true, but that doesn't prevent them from popping up in popular articles, blogs, books, and even movies. Here are three common fallacies about SETI.
g Learning - Are you thinking of a career in SETI? Get the low-down here. Note: This article is from 1998.
g Imagining - The students of Prof. Joan Slonczewski, who taught “Biology 103: Biology in Science Fiction” at Kenyon College in 2003, using astrobiological principles, attempted to create a number of plausible alien civilizations and worlds as a class project. Here’s another one, about the life in the ecosystem of planet Ralinius. See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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