Thursday, December 17, 2009

Super-Earths discovered around Sun-like stars and sending interstellar messages to ETI

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 - An international team of planet hunters has discovered as many as six low-mass planets around two nearby Sun-like stars, including two "super-Earths" with masses 5 and 7.5 times the mass of Earth. See article.
g Life - The sequences of nonsense DNA that interrupt genes could be far more important to the evolution of genomes than previously thought. See article.
g Message - Interstellar communication took a giant leap forward in 2003 when a Ukrainian space center sent several messages across the cosmos hoping to reach extraterrestrials 30-40 light years away. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Learning - Over and over again, science teachers at a recent convention remarked that their students are always asking about SETI and astronomy. Kids have a keen interest in astronomy, space sciences, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. What's out there? Are we alone? Ironically, this interest is not uniformly reflected in the state science education standards across the USA and these state standards drive textbook content. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Aftermath - Quote of the Day: "If we ever establish contact with extraterrestrial life, it will reveal to us our true place in the universe, and with that comes the beginnings of wisdom." — Isaac Asimov

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Johany DeMarco said...

You are absolutely correct in the fact that school children these days encounter a diminutive flow of astronomy education from grade to greade.

I have seen this myself. And it's very sad because most of these kids have an undying curiosity and most brilliant mind to understand the mysteries and concepts of space and beyond. But yet, the educational system is not fostering and encouraging this spark of curiosity!

I believe that something should be done about this. If the educational system won't foster and give the encouragement these children need to spark the future astrobiologists and scientists of tomorrow, then parents need to take this into their own hand.

They can do 2 things:

1)They can try to find some space astronomy after-school club or program that will keep their children's spark for astronomy going

2) The parents need to get interested themselves. I believe that all parents when they too were children had the spark of curiosity about outer space and the possibility of life on other worlds. Parents need to reconnect again with that spark. And together with their child learn about all that astronomy has to offer, and it offers a lot!

Oh, and I love your Drake Eqation. Right on!

Rob Bignell said...

Sound reasoning and advice, Johany!