Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ancient shorelines on Mars and why ‘biology’ is astrobiology

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - A University of Colorado at Boulder research team has discovered the first definitive evidence of shorelines on Mars, an indication of a deep, ancient lake there and a finding with implications for the discovery of past life on the Red Planet. See article.
g Life - A central question of astrobiology concerns the origin and distribution of life in the universe. For this reason, astrobiology can be considered to fall within the science called transitional biology. If we accept that life originated by a process of prebiotic chemical evolution, the next question concerns the nature of the transitional pathway from inanimate chemical systems to the first forms of life on Earth. These possible transitional states are the subject matter of transitional biology as a discipline. See article.
g Cosmicus - We need to broaden our approach in the new Vision for Space Exploration to include the development of the Moon and its resources. In the end, commerce is not NASA’s job. However, NASA and the government as a whole must take into account the development imperative and its importance to humanity’s collective future. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity, courtesy of NASA: “The Drake Equation.” Students estimate the number of civilizations in the galaxy by first estimating the number of craters on the Moon and then by performing estimates of multiple-variable systems culminating in the use of the Drake Equation. See lesson.

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