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Posted on Saturday, June 02 - 2012

Work being carried out on the Arctic ice sheets could aid in the hunt for life on other worlds.Scientists have been studying the edges of the ice sheets to investigate the release of methane, a gas that can either be produced by living organisms or through geological processes. In the hunt for life on alien worlds the ability to determine whether methane emissions are being produced by livingorganisms is essential.Environments not dissimilar to the Arctic conditions here on Earth are believed to exist on other worlds in our solar system such as Jupiter"s icy moon Europa, future missions to these worlds will rely on research such as that being conducted on the ice sheets to help locate potential new forms of life.

Microbes living at the edges of Arctic ice sheets could help researchers pinpoint evidence for similar microorganismsthat may have evolved on Mars, Jupiter"s moon Europa or Saturn"s moon Enceladus, researchers say.  

View: Full article |  Source: Yahoo! News  

Views : 380

Posted on Monday, May 28 - 2012

In a recent interview cosmologist Charley Lineweaver outlined his views on our efforts to find ET.Lineweaver argues that searching for life like that found on Earth is the wrong way to go about things. "Imagine if some historian wanted to know about the origin of France," he said. "Most French people now have passports. So imagine the historian went out on an archaeological dig tolook for French passports.

That would be ridiculous."The correct way forward, he contends, is to widen the definition of "life" because we simply don"t know what type of living organisms could be out there. "You could say all life today has DNA, but in the past, who knows?" he said. What"s wrong with the definition of "life"? Almost everything. For a start, we don"t really have one. When you ask a biologist, "Are virusesalive?", half of them will say yes, and half will say no.  

View: Full article |  Source: New Scientist  

Views : 649

Posted on Tuesday, May 22 - 2012

How would the world react if SETI found evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe ?Founded in 1984 and based on a premise first realised in a 1960 experiment by Frank Drake called "Project Ozma", SETI is widely recognised as the official face of the hunt for intelligent alien life. The search might have come up empty so far, but if evidence of extraterrestrials was to be discovered, how would people react to it ? Would there be a breakdown of society aswe know it and would the government even reveal the information to begin with ?Some conspiracy theorists argue that if conclusive evidence was ever found then it would be kept quiet at all costs, SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak however is unconvinced that this would be the case.

"There are a lot of people who think that finding life would be enormously disruptive," he says. "In this country people say, well if you guys find a signal, the government would shut it down, you"d keep it quiet, and the reason given for that is that it would disrupt society. Well there"s no evidence for that at all." Drake"s Project Ozma focused on just two nearby stars, Tau Ceti andEpsilon Eridani. Nowadays, SETI uses the Allen Telescope Array, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, to monitor thousands of stars. However, even before Project Ozma, Seth reminds me, Edison, Tesla and Marconi had all considered the possibility that radio waves might be receivable from Mars or elsewhere.  

View: Full article |  Source: Guardian Unlimited  

Views : 269

Posted on Monday, April 02 - 2012

If we were to ever come across an inhabitated alien planet, how would we go about contacting them ?Senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak believes that the most likely scenario would involve humans coming across an extraterrestrial race that is more primitive than we are and that the odds of encountering a civilization of an equal technological level to ours would be extremely remote.Author Robert Freitas has claimed that in the 1950s the US military developed a seven stage plan to follow inthe event of a contact situation.

The steps included remote surveillance and data gathering as well as covert operations to determine military strength, this would then progress in to landings in secluded regions to collect specimens eventually including members of the alien race themselves - actions that seem to mirror those that have been reported by alleged alien abductees for decades. It is conceivable that humans could someday discover aliens. We scour the cosmos looking for their radiosignals, and though we"re not capable of interstellar space travel, it is remotely possible that we could find what we"re looking for right here in our solar system.  

View: Full article |  Source: Live Science  

Views : 532

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