Saturday, January 10, 2009

New interstellar chemical discoveries and Russia’s robotic mission to Mars

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 images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal 14 young, runaway stars plowing through regions of dense interstellar gas, creating brilliant arrowhead structures and trailing tails of glowing gas. See article.
g Abodes - From Area 51 to those mysterious crop circles, human beings have had a number of reasons to wonder if we’re not alone in the universe. If/when we do find life on another planet, will they be friendly like our lovable long-necked E.T., or will they come to consume all of Earth's resources, only to be defeated by a bat-wielding Joaquin Phoenix and a glass of water? Well it appears that were closer than ever to knowing the truth, as new chemical discoveries by the Hubble Space Telescope has launched a breakthrough in the finding of extraterrestrial life. See article.
g Cosmicus - Russia is pushing forward on a robotic mission to Mars dubbed Phobos-Grunt — now seemingly on a countdown clock that ticks away for an October launch. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity courtesy of NASA: Who Can Live Here? Students explore the limits of life on Earth to extend their beliefs about life to include its possibility on other worlds.
g Imagining - Speculation about aliens has typically been left to science fiction authors, science fiction readers and Hollywood writers and directors. But what if we apply what we have learned about life on Earth to speculate about what alien life forms might be like? Here’s a primer.
g Aftermath - Alien encounters and science fiction permeate pop culture, but what would it really mean if scientists found life beyond Earth? If even a single-celled organism on another planet was discovered, for many, this would be the last thread of evidence proving that life is simply chemistry. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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