Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chemical fingerprint of an extrasolar planet and origin of life no longer a ‘mystery’

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 - By studying a triple planetary system, astronomers have obtained the “chemical fingerprint” of an extrasolar planet. This is the first time the spectrum of an exoplanet orbiting a normal, almost Sun-like star has been obtained directly. The data represents a new milestone in the search for habitable planets beyond our own solar system. See article.
g Life - The origin of life should be traced beyond the bracketed knowledge as the mystery of life may be resolved through astrobiology, said Nalin Chandra Wikramsinghe, director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff University, UK, on Saturday. See article.
g Message - What are the chances that an alien signal has been sent our way just at the right moment to splash upon our antennas during that brief interval? If the extraterrestrials beam their broadcasts to the whole galaxy (or at least a big chunk of it), the chances are 100 percent. See article. Note: This article is from 2006.
g Learning - The SETI Institute has created an “Adopt a Scientist Program.” Among the scientists is the father of SETI, Frank Drake.
g Imagining - Many science fiction story lines involve alien life forms. From a literary prospective, aliens often serve as metaphors for something more familiar. From a practical prospective, they make stories more interesting and TV more eye-catching. But what of scientific accuracy? A professor offers his advice about “How to Build an Alien”.
g Aftermath - Within the scientific community, the question is no longer whether extraterrestrial life exists, but if ET is smart enough to do long division — and the United States and other world governments already have detailed secret plans for first contact. My apologies in advanced for Popular Mechanic’s lurid title, but the reporting is sound. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.

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