Sunday, May 09, 2010

Penning letters to ETI and a scientist defends Obama’s space vision

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 - How could liquid water exist on Europa, such a small world, so far from the Sun? The answer is tidal heating. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Life - For nearly a decade, Jillian Banfield and her UC Berkeley colleagues have been studying the microbe community that lives in one of the most acidic environments on Earth: the drainage from a former copper mine in Northern California. One group of these microbes, dubbed ARMAN, seems to be smaller, and weirder, than any other known, free-living organism. Occasionally, it gets impaled by it larger neighbors. See article.
g Message - Famed physicist Stephen Hawking set off chatter in the scientific community in late April when he posited the existence of intelligent aliens on his new TV series, "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking" —adding that it would be best for human beings to avoid contact with them. See article.
g Cosmicus - A scientist says the Obama administration's new plan for NASA is not an abandonment of a return to the Moon but rather replacing it with a much more visionary approach, restoring the agency's leadership in human exploration of the Solar System. See article.
g Learning - Walking past the open door of a writer's workshop that was held recently at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, much of the conversation was of the sort you might expect from any other group of students honing their craft as creative writers. They pondered which aspects of the human condition are most important to convey through their art. They examined their motivations for writing. And continually, they struggled to make themselves understood by readers who may be very different from themselves. But there is a critical difference from other creative writing classes. The intended audience for this class - if it exists at all - lives on a planet circling a distant star. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Aftermath - Scientists such as the SETI Institute’s John Billingham and Jill Tarter have taken the lead in planning for the day we might receive a signal from life beyond Earth. Working with diplomats and space lawyers, they have helped develop protocols that guide the activities of SETI scientists who think they may have detected extraterrestrial intelligence. See article. Note: This story is a few years old.

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