Thursday, January 15, 2009

Methane on Mars and maintaining strategic dialogue with 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 - Plumes of methane, a gas typically produced on Earth by cow digestion, flatulence and rice paddies, were reported on Mars by scientists today, raising the tantalizing possibility that life may dwell beneath the planet's inhospitable surface. See article.
g Life - How life began: This problem really permeates much of humankind, societies and cultures past and present. Some have evoked a supreme being to explain the origin of life; others look to the scientific method to provide answers. Regardless of the position, there have been at least two extremely exciting discoveries or reports that really change the nature of the game. The first one is the discovery of planets around nearby stars. There are other solar systems in space. The other is the discovery of the possibility that life existed on Mars. See article.
g Message - You don’t have to leave Earth to find intelligent life on other worlds. All you have to do is tune in ... at the right time ... on the right frequency ... in the right direction ... with the right spectrometer ... using the most powerful supercomputer on this planet. See article. Note: this article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus - Researchers have developed an incredibly strong and versatile building material using simulated lunar rock. The technology could be used to build colonies for human explorers and scientists using resources that are already available on the moon. See article.
g Imagining - Incredibly it’s been four decades since Federation Starship NCC-1701, better known as the Enterprise, first ignited its matter-antimatter engines and coasted into the dark spaces of the galaxy to seek out new life. See article.
g Aftermath - What are the challenges to comprehension in initiating and maintaining strategic dialogue in highly uncertain situations — such as with extraterrestrials? See article.

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