Monday, September 07, 2009

The frontier of an intelligence biologically wholly unrelated to our own and national priorities for exploring Mars

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 - What is the habitable zone for the nearby star DO 255-470?
g Life - The Arizona Radio Observatory is on the lookout for primitive organic molecules in the cold, dense gas clouds of interstellar space. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Message - If we are to learn about distant life, it must make itself perceptible. As far as we can see, only life that has followed our own evolution to the extent of being able to send some mark of its presence across space can be found. This must mean that intelligence develops naturally out of evolving life, that it can make signals capable of traversing space, and that, for some period of time at least, it wants to make its presence known (or at least does not conceal it!). If these conditions exist anywhere, we might hope to detect creatures far older and more capable than ourselves. Exploration would then cross a new frontier; the frontier of an intelligence biologically wholly unrelated to our own. See article.
g Cosmicus - What should be the nation's goals and priorities for exploring Mars in the 2013 to 2022 timeframe? See article.
g Learning - Ever lain on your back, studying a starry sky, wondering if there's anything else out there? Listen to podcast.
g Aftermath - Book alert: “When SETI succeeds: The impact of high-information contact,” edited by Allen Tough, gives the intriguing proceedings of a seminar on the cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact (held in conjunction with Bioastronomy '99) plus eleven additional in-depth papers. Topics include the practical information and the answers to major questions that we might gain from another civilization, the likely changes in our view of ourselves, the role of the social sciences in SETI, cosmic humanity, the age of ET, cultural aspects of astrobiology, and what next. Published in 2000, the book is available from the Foundation for the Future. See list.

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