Thursday, April 09, 2009

Human and aliens sharing commonality of DNA and a reasonable horizon for the detection of a signal from an extraterrestrial sender

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 - Just how common are brown dwarfs? The answer is still up for debate, for stars like these (with masses less than 0.05 that of the Sun) are so small that they do not burn hydrogen, and as they age, they become more and more difficult to detect. See article.
g Abodes - How well do we really know our Solar System? While we may be starting to unravel the secrets of Earth and its closest neighbors Mars and Venus, the gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, that are much further afield remain shrouded in mystery. This edition of Space looks at the story of the forgotten planets.
g Life - The building blocks of life may be more than merely common in the cosmos. Humans and aliens could share a common genetic foundation. See article.
g Message - The Drake Equation in its various forms has been tormenting us for decades, raising the question of how to adjust variables that range from astronomical (the abundance of terrestrial planets) to biological (the probability of life’s emergence) and even sociological (the average lifetime of a technological civilization). Wildly optimistic estimates of the number of technological civilizations in our galaxy are now giving way to more sober reflection. Now Reginald Smith (Bouchet-Franklin Institute, Rochester, N.Y.) offers up a new analysis looking at how likely radio contact is given a civilization’s lifetime, and how widely that civilization’s signals can be clearly received. The key question: What if there is a reasonable horizon for the detection of a signal from an extraterrestrial sender? See article.
g Cosmicus - Would a species capable of star travel actually need to make the journey, given the advances in technology that would surely make it possible to learn more and more about exoplanets from its own star system? See article.

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