Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spacecraft crash into Moon and teaching exobiology in high schools

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 - For the first time in history, scientists are able to recreate an exact model and trajectory of an asteroid colliding with the Earth. This new information has the potential to open up whole new windows of insight into a field that, until now, has been plagued with conjecture. See article.
g Cosmicus - Two U.S. spacecraft were crashed into a lunar crater on Friday but scientists said it was too early to say whether the mission to search for supplies of water on the Moon had been a success. See article.
g Learning - Exobiology, a discipline concerned with the origin of life, has become not only a significant component of several scientific fields, but it is also a subject of considerable popular interest. It is thus appropriate that an introduction and overview of Exobiology be included in the high school science curriculum. See teaching module.
g Aftermath - Will we find extraterrestrial intelligence — and should we want to? Such are the questions examined in “Contact with Alien Civilizations.” Michael A.G. Michaud, a space policy analyst and former diplomat, provides an engrossing overview of the probabilities, promises, and risks of encountering smart aliens. Drawing heavily on the scientific and scholarly literature (he apologizes for not thoroughly discussing science fiction), Michaud’s approach is to compile diverse expert opinions on alien-related topics and relentlessly scrutinize premises about what the extraterrestrials would be like. His analysis suggests that contact is a serious—and not necessarily pleasant—possibility. See article or this review.

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