Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Life on very unearthly planets and when we may first meet extraterrestrials

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 are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life - and they've set their sights on some very unearthly planets. See article.
g Life - Deep inside the Frasassi cave system in Italy and more than 1,600 feet below the Earth's surface, divers found filamentous ropes of microbes growing in the cold water, according to a team of Penn State researchers. See article.
g Intelligence - Our eyes constantly flit around, but rather than producing a shaky image like that in a jostled video camera, we perceive a coherent scene. The mechanism behind our steady view has mystified scientists for decades. Now researchers have identified what could be the brain circuit responsible. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Message - Finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is not out of the question, but it may not happen in our lifetimes. See article.
g Cosmicus - Nearly 40 years after the U.S. flag was planted on the moon, a global rush to the final frontier has some pondering property rights out there. See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Jack McDevitt’s novel, The Hercules Text, published by Ace in 1986.
g Aftermath - An Outside Context Problem or an OCP is any problem outside given organization or society experience, with an immediate, ubiquitous and lasting impact upon an entire culture or civilization — such as first contact with extraterrestrials. See article.

1 comment:

Martin J Sallberg said...

One possibility they ignored on the possibility of life on low-insolation worlds is mixed water-ammonia oceans, the mixture has a lower freezing point than pure ammonia, lowest at 35% ammonia and 65% water. Lorificerans in the Mediterranean prove complex multicellular life can exist in anoxic environments. And for real estate issues, the whole concept of exclusive property is just a result of scarcity. In the vastness of space, everyone will know that resources and real estate is abundant, so the concept of property will fade away, not by being outlawed (outlawing property is a form of property where the legislators owns everything, so it would be counterproductive anyway) but by the total lack of motivation to claim and defend any kind of exclusive rights, simply the result of abundance instead of scarcity.