Monday, April 12, 2010

Hollywood creates aliens in man’s image and NASA’s big 21 ongoing missions

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 - Astronomers have observed a planet-like object orbiting a brown dwarf. However, the object is thought to have formed in less than 1 million years, which is much faster than the predicted time it takes to build a planet. The finding could alter our theories about planet formation. See article.
g Intelligence - Watching a curvaceous woman can feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might, research now reveals. See article.
g Cosmicus - While NASA's 2011 budget got a lot of attention for what it cut - the Constellation program mostly - it does include funding for a ton of other critical satellite and robotic missions. These missions include a huge planned mission to Mars as well as other operations that will send spacecraft to Pluto, Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto and the Sun. New climate change research and observation satellites are also heavily funded. Here we take a look at 21 new or ongoing missions NASA will be hot on this year and in the near future. See article.
g Imagining - According to Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image." OK, but what about all the other intelligent, cosmic inhabitants? Well, Hollywood has taken care of that. It has created aliens in man's image. See article.
g Aftermath - Book alert: Despite an evidently open-minded attitude, Barry Parker delivers the hard line to ET enthusiasts in “Alien Life: The Search for Extraterrestrials and Beyond": "Strangely, we haven't found a single sign of life beyond our solar system." The emeritus Idaho State University professor of astronomy and physics summarizes recent scientific conjecture on extraterrestrial life without venturing much personal speculation. He considers the "architecture of life" and the mystery of DNA as related to its possible exploitation elsewhere; the possibility of non-carbon-based life forms; the history of Mars exploration (including the recent "meteorite from Mars" discovery); the results of NASA space probes; the discovery of distant planets through advanced telescopy; and the SETI program's search for alien radio signals. Parker acknowledges the contentions of UFO believers, but devotes few pages to claims of alien encounters such as the well-known Roswell incident. Steering clear of that controversy as "an argument not likely to be resolved in the near future," Parker's hopeful and energetic book ends up reinforcing the science establishment's lonely outlook for humanity, but still leaves room for the possibility that if they are out there, we will find them, or they, us. See article.

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