Sunday, March 22, 2009

Opportunity catches first glimpse of its destination and gold-plated records meant for ET

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 - The commonest stars in the universe aren't very Sun-like, but they could still have life-bearing planets, say Jill Tarter and Peter Backus, of the SETI Institute, and 30 other researchers. See article. Note: This article is from 2006.
g Abodes - NASA's Opportunity rover has caught its first glimpse of the destination it's been seeking for the past six months – Endeavor Crater. On route to Endeavor, Opportunity will continue to examine the Martian soil in search of clues about the past climate of Mars. See article.
g Message - When the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft were launched in 1977, they each included a gold-plated phonograph record (a "golden record") of natural sounds, greetings in human voices, and a variety of music. The record cover has symbolic instructions that show how to use and understand the record, though scientists still debate whether other civilizations will be able to decipher them. Click here for info on Voyager’s golden record.

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