Friday, December 26, 2008

The New Year’s star and a sign of alien intelligence

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 - Every year I celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s week with something I have long called "the New Year’s star" because it is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye and every year it reaches its highest position at midnight during New Year’s week. See article.
g Abodes - California's Sierra Nevada, an impressive mountain range that includes the popular Yosemite National Park, has done a great job of keeping its age a secret. But now a new study provides evidence that it's at least 40 million years old. See article.
g Message - What would be a sign of alien intelligence? Forget mathematics — try a simple, pure-tone radio signal. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. As part of that, it seeks to understand the origin of the building blocks of life, how these building blocks combine to create life, how life affects and is affected by the environment from which it arose, and finally, whether and how life expands beyond its planet of origin. It requires studying fundamental concepts of life and habitable environments that will help us to recognize biospheres that might be quite different from our own. This includes studying the limits of life, life's phylogeny and effects of the space environment on living systems. Such fundamental questions require long term stable funding for the science community. This means keeping the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the grants programs funded at healthy levels. See article.
g Aftermath - What would an intelligent signal from another planet change about human destiny? This large question is the topic of the book "The SETI Factor," by Frank White, who also analyzes how to announce such an historic finding and whether it would unite or divide nations. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: