Friday, April 10, 2009

Habitability of red dwarf stars and minimum civilization density for contact between two civilizations

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Not astrobiologists' first choice, red dwarf stars have now gained acceptance as potential hosts for habitable planets. They may not be great to live by in the first couple billion years, but they eventually settle down into relatively pleasant stars. See article.
g Abodes - Researchers are making surprising new discoveries about Saturn’s moon, Titan. The discoveries include the detection of a potential subterranean ocean of hydrocarbons and unique observations of Titan’s topsy-turvy topography. See article. For related story, see “Titan: A Rainy Season Ahead?
g Message - A researcher claims to have developed a detailed quantitative model that uses the Drake equation and an assumption of an average maximum radio broadcasting distance by an communicative civilization to derive a minimum civilization density for contact between two civilizations to be probable in a given volume of space under certain conditions, the amount of time it would take for a first contact, and whether reciprocal contact is possible. His results show that under certain assumptions, a galaxy can be teeming with civilizations yet not have a guarantee of communication between any of them given either short lifetimes or small maximum distances for communication. See article.
g Cosmicus - In the market for a mammoth starship? Recently released work by Friedwardt Winterberg, discussed here by Adam Crowl, points to fast interplanetary travel and implies possibilities in the interstellar realm that are innovative and ingenious.
g Learning - Because of Oklahoma’s successful NASA Space Grant program which includes the NASA National Space Grant and College Fellowship Program and the Workforce Development Program at ECU, students and faculty are able to participate in site visits to NASA Centers to learn more about agency-wide and center-specific opportunities (internships, summer research camps, semester fellowships, employment, etc.) for students and faculty. See article.

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