Monday, November 02, 2009

The Great Oxidation Event and how SETI knows it’s received a real signal

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 - Scientists widely accept that the Earth's atmosphere underwent a dramatic rise in oxygen 2.4 billion years ago, which ultimately paved the way for complex life on our planet. New research has helped solve some important questions surrounding this “Great Oxidation Event.” See article.
g Message - Picture Jodie Foster, her eyes closed and a mildly bored look on her face. She’s wearing earphones and listening to the dull roar of the cosmos. Now imagine Jodie 20 seconds later, when she hears something sounding like an unpleasant accident in the Boston Pops’ percussion section. Jodie knows she’s scored big: The aliens are on the air. Still, how can she be sure she’s picked up intelligence, and not just the cosmic gurgle of a completely natural object? How can she know she’s not merely harkening to the ticking beat of a pulsar, the whoosh of a quasar, or perhaps the lasing bray of a molecular gas cloud? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - Chemists have developed a technology to rapidly assess the presence of microbial life on spacecraft. The method will help in decontaminating spacecraft before launch, and could have medical and pharmaceutical uses on Earth. See article.
g Aftermath - The recent Hollywood movie “War of the Worlds” by Steven Spielberg garnered much attention, but it was nothing like that accorded the 1938 radio version of H.G. Wells' novel. The extent of the panic that broadcast caused is still debated. So what really happened that night? See article.

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