A New Empirical Constraint on the Prevalence of Technological Species in the Universe
Recent advances is exoplanet studies provide strong constraints on all astrophysical terms in the Drake Equation...We find that as long as the probability that a habitable zone planet develops a technological species is larger than ~ 10-24, then humanity is not the only time technological intelligence has evolved.(Paper published in Astrobiology [paywalled]; preprint available on arXiv) [more inside]
Orson Welles, sitting in a dark library and smoking a cigar, narrates the 1975 28-minute long NASA documentary "Who's Out There" on the subjects of Mars, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life and civilizations. Also featuring Carl Sagan.
An 'armchair astronomer' named David Martines has found something on Google Mars which he believes is some kind of space station. Allegedly, NASA is investigating the image. Another theory says that what he sees is a "linear streak artifact produced by a cosmic ray".
A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane
plumesthat bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
The "Great Filter" is a hypothetical barrier to explain why civilisations are so unlikely to progress to the point of inter-stellar colonisation that we have not encountered any in 40 years of looking. Maybe humanity has already negotiated the filter - as some massive evolutionary improbability - or perhaps it lies in our future as an almost-certain threat to our existence? We should hold our breath as we look for evidence of life on Mars.
"Google and Virgin Group today announced the launch of Virgle Inc., a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars." Virgle - with their 100 year mission to boldly go where no tycoons have gone before - to Mars! Why not join their startup civilization (apply here folks), become a pioneer and live in Virgle City! But for all of you potential astronauts out there - don't look here!
The Quest for Life. And while you're at it, play out the life of an astronaut on this simulated mission. Do you have the right stuff to succeed and survive?