Friday, August 27, 2010

Binary stars bad for life and 30 days after first contact

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 - A new study using data from the Spitzer Space Telescope has shown that double-star systems may not be good places to search for life. A large amount of dust in three systems with close-orbiting stars could be the result of tremendous planetary collisions, indicating such systems may be too unstable for habitable planets. See article.
g Message - Modern SETI searches are looking for technically sophisticated aliens around other star systems. Do the research teams that run these experiments also have cryptologists standing by? See article. This article is from 2000.
g Cosmicus - Seasoned skywatchers in North American may have several chances to spot the U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane fly overhead with the help of a smart phone app that helps track satellites. See article.
g Imagining - Could galactic empires exist? There has been plenty of time for aliens keen on colonizing the Milky Way to pull it off. However, we see no signs of galactic federation ("Star Trek" aside). Why does the cosmos look so untouched and unconquered? What is keeping advanced extraterrestrials from claiming every star system in sight? See article. This article is from 2001.
g Aftermath - The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence is accelerating its pace and adopting fresh strategies. This increases the likelihood of successful detection in the near future. Humanity's first contact with alien intelligence will trigger extraordinary attention from the media, from government authorities, and from the general public. By improving our readiness for contact, especially for security during the first 30 days, we can avoid the most negative scenarios — and also enhance humanity's benefits from this first contact with an alien intelligence. Six potential problem areas include communicating with the media and the public, communicating with scientific colleagues, government control, an assassin or saboteur, well-meaning officials and lawsuits. See article.

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