Sunday, February 03, 2013

Martian surface carved by water?

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 - New Mars Express images show a region of Reull Vallis on Mars where a channel 7 kilometers wide that may have been carved by flowing water. See article.
g Message - Book alert: Despite an evidently open-minded attitude, Barry R. Parker in his new book “Alien Life: The Search for Extraterrestrials and Beyond” delivers the hard line to ET enthusiasts: "Strangely, we haven't found a single sign of life beyond our solar system." In “Alien Life,” the emeritus Idaho State University professor of astronomy and physics summarizes recent scientific conjecture on extraterrestrial life without venturing much personal speculation. He considers the "architecture of life" and the mystery of DNA as related to its possible exploitation elsewhere; the possibility of non-carbon-based life forms; the history of Mars exploration (including the recent "meteorite from Mars" discovery); the results of NASA space probes; the discovery of distant planets through advanced telescopy; and SETI's search for alien radio signals. Parker acknowledges the contentions of UFO believers, but devotes few pages to claims of alien encounters such as the well-known Roswell incident. Steering clear of that controversy as "an argument not likely to be resolved in the near future," Parker's hopeful and energetic book ends up reinforcing the science establishment's lonely outlook for humanity, but still leaves room for the possibility that if they are out there, we will find them - or they, us. See article.
g Cosmicus - As his mission comes to an end, Expedition 31 crew member, Don Pettit, reflects on the view of Earth and beyond from the International Space Station. See article.

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