Thursday, July 29, 2010

The science of StarCraft and what would we say to another civilization?

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - A giant black hole spouting energy from inside a galaxy is acting like a cosmic magnifying glass, giving astronomers a clear view of an even more distant galaxy behind it. See article.
g Abodes - What may be the best-preserved small impact crater ever seen on Earth has been discovered in the remote Egyptian desert. See article.
g Message - If we finally prove were not alone in the cosmos, will it happen because we’ve discovered flashing lights in the sky? A growing number of SETI researchers think this is possible. See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - It is a difficult business to design, build, successfully launch and then operate spacecraft on other worlds. Accomplishing the mission is particularly difficult for planetary probes, which go through significant atmospheres, collecting data on their way to the surface and, due to the challenges of the extreme environments associated with such destinations, often only survive for relatively brief periods once they have landed. See article. This article is from 2007.
g Imagining - Scientists in a variety of fields including entomology, evolutionary biology, systems ecology, astrobiology, and physics, help us determine how much of the technology featured in the StarCraft universe is entirely science fiction and what could actually exist in real life. See article.
g Aftermath - If we find other civilizations, what will we say to them? Crafting a message that represents Earth and humanity and can be understood by another life form is no minor endeavor. SETI Institute psychologist Douglas Vakoch has been charged with this formidable task, and has enlisted the help of mathematicians, artists, astronomers and anthropologists. Hear the messages he helped compose and learn about the thinking behind them.

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