Monday, July 05, 2010

Observing an exoworld’s superstorm and creating non-Earthly aliens

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 measured a “superstorm” in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time. Such observations may pave the way for more precise observations of extrasolar planets, ultimately helping astrobiologists detect habitable worlds around distant stars. See article.
g Message - After its long voyage from Earth across the vast stretches of interstellar space, the space ship finally lands on a planet with an environment compatible with human life. The human space voyagers descend from their ship and encounter a race of intelligent beings native to the planet. Communication is soon established between the two groups, human and alien, of intelligent beings. So might begin a story in the contemporary science fiction genre. Such stories might not seem to have much to do with the question of the nature of language, but there is one aspect of the story that merits our attention, namely, the fact that communication is established. That in itself is remarkable. In real life humans have never succeeded in establishing communication with any other species, at least not in establishing communication in the same way as they do with alien beings in many science fiction stories. In such stories it is often possible to communicate with the aliens as effectively as with a human group who speak another language. Are we to say, then, that these alien beings have language? See article. This article is from 1982.
g Cosmicus - Quote of the Day: “. . . to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” – Isaac Newton
g Learning - When it comes to summer getaways, space enthusiasts with the means have a plethora of choices, and the rise of commercial spaceflight is making the list even longer. See article.
g Imagining - Science fiction authors produce a lot of very strange critters. In the desperate dash to be different, many go way overboard to invent fantastic, outlandish species unlike anything anyone has ever seen. It’s an admirable expression of their artistic abilities, but there’s an inherent problem: they almost always lose the reader along the way. Sure, it sounds ultra-cool to have a whole herd of 80-foot quasi-limbed orb-stasis beings, but unless you draw me a picture of these things, the reader often has no idea what you’re talking about. However, if you write that your alien has four wings, 10 eyes and looks a little like a kangaroo, the reader is right there with you. Most readers need at least something familiar to draw on for their imagination, or they get lost. See article. This article is from 2002.

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dansho said...

It was a happy day today, at least something human is leaving the solar system today. Just recently the LDE labs conducted an experiment to test the theory of panspermia and the results came out positive. NASA also announced that we could be the result of space seeding. Read the full article here:

Alien Life and Space Seeding

Rob Bignell said...

Panspermia certainly is an intriguing theory with deep philosophical implications about our place in the universe. Perhaps one day humans will spawn the panspermia that leads to the rise of another world's intelligent species. What would that make us in their mind?