Monday, January 11, 2010

Just 15 % of galaxy’s solar systems like our own and the benefits of reading Franz Kafka

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - A new study shows that just 15 percent of solar systems in the galaxy are like our own. The finding may have implications in the search for habitable worlds in the universe. See article.
g Abodes - Book review: “The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World”, by Peter Ward and Don Brownlee, is the first real biography of the Earth - not only a brilliant portrait of the emergence and evolution of life on this planet, but a vivid and frightening look at Earth's remote future. Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee combine storytelling power with extreme scientific care, and their narrative is as transfixing as any of H.G. Wells' fantasies, but more enthralling, for Ward and Brownlee have real power to prognosticate. This is a book that makes one shiver, but also inspires one to wonder how humanity (if we survive in the short term) will fare in the distant future." Oliver Sachs Peter Ward and Don Brownlee, a geologist and an astronomer respectively, are in the vanguard of the new field of astrobiology. Combining their knowledge of the evolution of life on our planet with their understanding of the life cycles of stars and solar systems, the authors tell the awe-inspiring story of the second half of Earth's life. The process of planetary evolution will essentially reverse itself; life as we know it will subside until only the simplest forms remain. The oceans will evaporate, and as the sun slowly expands, Earth itself will eventually meet a fiery end.
g Message - In the absence of knowledge of physical and cultural clues, communication between two species can be almost impossible - almost. See article. Note: This article is from 1999.
g Learning - Reading a book by Franz Kafka –– or watching a film by director David Lynch – could make you smarter. See article.

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