Friday, April 23, 2010

Exoplanet lacks methane and life that likes liquid asphalt

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 – NASA's Spitzer telescope has discovered something odd about a distant planet - it lacks methane. The finding is contradictory to what scientists were expecting based on current models. The discovery also brings astronomers one step closer to probing the atmosphere of Earth-like exoplanets. See article.
g Life – A Caribbean lake of liquid asphalt that makes a comfortable home for a unique mix of microorganisms may provide clues to how life could survive in hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan. See article.
g Cosmicus – With the launch Thursday of the X-37B spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket, the U.S. Air Force is taking a page from NASA's space shuttle program. See article.
g Imagining – Could “cloud creatures” exist on alien worlds? Here’s one writer’s speculations.

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Steeezy said...

aliens give me a sheadlongst. We don't know what aliens will be like, so who's to say that they can't be dangerous!?

Rob Bignell said...

Such a threat may be a good argument for space exploration and a new commitment to science/technology research in general, if only so we can defend ourselves (or even be the superior alien). Perhaps such effrots will be in vain, but doing nothing and living in ignorance of their existence and potential threat is tantamount to surrender.

In any case, I doubt the aliens have the inclination or technology to conquer us or they already would have done so. Any civilization capable of traversing the stars simply needs to sling a couple of large asteroids at planet Earth, wait a few years for the smoke to clear, and then colonize at their leisure ...