Saturday, February 13, 2010

Martian climate record and U.S. drops out of human exploration of space

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 - Exposed rock layers near the center of a crater on Mars reveal a record of major environmental change on the red planet. This record of Mars' history could help astrobiologists understand whether or not habitable environments once existed on Mars. See article.
g Life - In the search for life beyond Earth, we should not expect to find life forms we’re familiar with. Determining whether something completely alien is ‘alive’ could be a challenge, so a universal definition of life is needed. Biologists have yet to agree on a definition, but a new theory attempts to provide a solution. See article.
g Message - How easy would it be for them to learn of our existence? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - Forty years ago the U.S. raced to plant the first foot on the moon. Now, as India, Russia, South Korea and China compete to return for further exploration, the U.S has all but dropped out - and even Buzz Aldrin thinks that may be okay. See article.
g Aftermath - What if we did contact another intelligent life form in the universe? Should we respond? What should we say? What traits best represent our humanity? Douglas Vakoch, the SETI Institute’s director of Interstellar Message Composition, is working with scientists, artists, linguists, composers, and others to imagine how to speak for our planet. Here’s a Web cast in which Vakoch describes his work; scroll to “Talking with ET.”

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