Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recognizing aliens and Spirit rover stuck in sand trap

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Life - If aliens do exist in the Goldilocks zones of outer space, we still may not recognize them. See article.
g Intelligence - We don’t know, but there could be thousands, and possibly millions, of Earth-like planets studding the dark latitudes of the Milky Way. Our Galaxy could be thick with worlds that host not just life, but intelligence. In this putative club of sentients, is it possible that we are the newest arrivals? See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Message - If extraterrestrials are out there, signals that would prove their existence are cascading over your body right now. Needless to say, you don’t notice. The challenge for SETI researchers is to build an instrument that will. Rising to the challenge, the SETI Institute and others are developing new search strategies and telescopes, encouraging some scientists to speculate that a signal detection will occur in the next decade or two. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - NASA has now designated the Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, a 'stationary science platform'. For months, the rover has been unable to free itself from a sand trap on Mars. Although Spirit is now immobile, the rover will continue to perform scientific studies that will help astrobiologists understand the past environment of Mars. See article.
g Imagining - In nearly all popular science fiction dramatizations on television, most of the alien protagonists look remarkably like humans. In "Star Trek," if you forgave the Vulcan's their ears (and their hair-styles), the Klingons their foreheads and the Bajorans their ridged noses you'd think that they were all human. After all, they have two legs, two arms, 10 fingers and toes, two ears, two eyes and a nose. And while arms and eyes are universals, two arms and two legs are parochial. See article.
g Aftermath - Scientists searching for alien life should get governments and the UN involved lest we unwittingly contact hostile extraterrestrials, a British astronomer has warned. See article.

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