Thursday, August 20, 2009

Searching for exomoons and running the Drake Equation

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 - Astrophysicists used the Spitzer Space Telescope to scan a cluster of about 500 stars for evidence of a collision similar to the one that produced Earth's moon. The telescope searches in the infrared part of the spectrum, which allows researchers to search for the dust clouds created by massive collisions. The surface area of the dust would absorb light from the star and become warm. Researchers hypothesize that a maximum of five to ten percent of all moons form in the way that the Earth's did. See article. Note: This article is from 2008.
g Message - In 1961, astronomer Frank Drake wrote the equation that put the search for alien civilizations on a scientific footing and launched the modern SETI movement. How do the numbers look today? See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Cosmicus - Quote of the Day: “What was most significant about the first lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon, but that they set eye on the Earth.” – Norman Cousins
g Aftermath - What if we did contact another intelligent life form in the universe? Should we respond? What should we say? What traits best represent our humanity? Douglas Vakoch, the SETI Institute’s director of Interstellar Message Composition, is working with scientists, artists, linguists, composers, and others to imagine how to speak for our planet. Here’s a Web cast in which Vakoch describes his work. Scroll to “Talking with ET.”

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