Rasmussen College Week 8 / Are We Alone In The Universe   Leave a comment

Welcome to Week 8 of your Astronomy Course.

This week the topic is extraterrestrial (ET) life.

There is loads of information on the internet about this topic.  On the internet, in books, in the media… ET life has been a hot topic since humans found out that the Earth was one of many small planets floating in space.

Here are some of the links I find most interesting at the moment:

first link is to a very recent article that appeared in the BBC news.  It talks about how it may be wise for the famous SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project to change its focus and look for other signatures of intelligent life.
“Alien hunters should look for artificial intelligence” by Jason Palmer of the BBC

Then, of course, are two videos from TED:

The discussion this week is about silicon-based life forms.  The Course Materials make a pun comparing silicon-based life to the new silicon valley… this, unfortunately, has led to a misunderstanding in that silicon-based life would not be computers talking.
I recommend reading the following Wikipedia pages on Carbon-based Life and Hypothetical Types of Biochemistry.

Update (Feb 2012): Here is an interesting article about Russians coming close to drilling into a subglacial fresh-water lake: (LINK).  It is interesting and correlated to astronomy in that: “Montana State’s Priscu, for instance, has found evidence that microbes could live in the subglacial lake, deriving energy from minerals—”eating rocks,” as he told National Geographic News in 2007.”  Examples of where life may exist.  Life on other planets is seeming less and less improbable.

-drplim

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