Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Plenty of oxygen on Europa for microorganisms and does life need to be carbon-based?

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 - New research suggests that there is plenty of oxygen available in the subsurface ocean of Europa to support oxygen-based metabolic processes for life similar to that on Earth. In fact, there may be enough oxygen to support complex, animal-like organisms with greater oxygen demands than microorganisms. See article.
g Life - Life as we know it is entirely carbon-based (made of molecules mostly composed of carbon atoms). Though we cannot presently imagine life forms that are not carbon-based, when searching for alien life it is good to keep our eyes open, in case our imagination has failed us! See article.
g Message - Just exactly how does SETI work? See primer.
g Cosmicus - If humans were forced to vacate Earth, where is the next best place in our solar system for us to live? A study by the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo has provided a quantitative evaluation of habitability to identify the potential habitats in our solar system. Professor Abel Mendez, who produced the study also looked at how the habitability of Earth has changed in the past, finding that some periods were even better than today. See article.
g Aftermath - What would an intelligent signal from another planet change about human destiny? This large question is the topic of the book “The SETI Factor,” by Frank White, who also analyzes how to announce such an historic finding and whether it would unite or divide nations. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

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