Friday, September 25, 2009

Solvents that could support life and the Moon as a service station

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 - The Andromeda galaxy, the closest neighbor to our own Milky Way, has been growing by scooping up stars from smaller surrounding galaxies, a Canadian-led team of astronomers has found. See article.
g Abodes - NASA scientists say they are developing a method of screening molecules to predict how certain materials will contribute to global warming. See article.
g Life - Researchers from Austria who have started a systematic study of solvents other than water that might be able to support life outside our planet. See article.
g Message - Book alert: Scour your used book store shelves for “Life Beyond Earth”, by Timothy Ferris. Rock-solid science writer Ferris has covered this ground before. In the two-hour PBS documentary that he wrote and narrated - which shares the title, text, and many of the images of this generously illustrated book - Ferris tackles two age-old questions about the potentially universal nature of life: Are we alone, and, if not, is anybody listening?
g Cosmicus - The Moon could become a “service station in the sky” where ships resupply on their way to deep space after scientists discover the planet is covered in water and rocket fuel. See article.
g Aftermath - We humans are familiar with the back-and-forth of face-to-face contact — something we likely will not have in an interstellar conversation. The timescale of a human life may well not be enough for a meaningful dialogue with another species. Interstellar dialogue may make sense only across generations. See article.

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