Monday, July 19, 2010

Contingency plan for first contact with ETI and the argument for panspermia

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 - Scientists have identified a new class of moons in the rings of Saturn. It is the first time that scientists have been able to track the orbits of individual objects in a debris disk. The research is revealing clues about disks around other stars in our universe that are too far away to observe directly. See article.
g Life - A researcher argues that “only panspermia is a viable scientific explanation as to the origin of Earthly life. The first life forms to appear on Earth were produced by other living creatures who were likely encased in debris from the shattered remnants of those planets that circled the parent star nearly 5 billion years ago.” See paper. This paper is from 2009.
g Message - The second "A" in ATA stands for array, meaning that this instrument is made of many small dishes. Although each dish is as big as a house, they are small compared to the complete telescope: ten city blocks on a side. The bigger the telescope, the more detail you see in the images. By breaking up our collecting area into hundreds of small pieces, we capture detail as if we had a telescope the size of a subdivision for the price of a single apartment building. See article. This article is from 2008.
g Cosmicus - The Senate Commerce Committee, capping months of intense debate over the future of NASA's manned-exploration program, on Thursday unanimously approved a $19 billion bill giving the White House most of what it sought to outsource space transportation. See article.
g Learning - Evolution for educators: Visit “Understanding Evolution,” a site Berkeley University’s launched in 2004 to meet the needs of K-12 teachers. The site provides an informal on-line course covering essential science content, as well as a searchable database of resources for the classroom. See course.
g Aftermath - What if aliens were to make contact—do we have an E.T. contingency plan? See article.

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