Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More on Aliens

From a just published article. "The face of first contact: What aliens look like"
Summary of article:

Note that the lead off phrase is typically Lovecraftian showing how permeated our society has become with the Mythos.

TENTACLED monsters? … nobody knows what features we will behold if and when humans and aliens come face-to-face. Or face to squirmy something. Despite this lack of hard evidence, a blend of astronomy and earthly biology offers some clues to what is out there.

If first contact turns out to be within our solar system, then … we have some prior knowledge about the available habitats. … The subsoil of Mars may be warm enough to host microbes akin to Earth's bacteria, … there could be larger beasts swimming in the watery oceans of some outer moons of the solar system - especially Jupiter's moon Europa. …{a} chance that a deep aquatic ocean lies beneath Europa's ice.

… the energy supplied by … vents could feed a large population of microbes, which in turn could support a pyramid of predators. Europa's top predator, the equivalent of our great white shark, would be a fearsome creature with a mass … about 1 gram. … a shrimp-sized organism … {or a} hypothetical ice worm.

The clouds of Venus … pretty destructive to bags of water like ourselves … could {host} acid-dwellers … formed of … flexible polymers. … On Saturn's moon Titan … chilled hydrocarbon cocktail of ethane and methane … might {harbor} bigger {life} the surface tension in a methane-ethane blend is much lower, so … {maybe} boulder-sized microbes moving over the surface and guzzling up hydrocarbons. At around 93 kelvin, … The lifetime of such an organism may be 10,000 years, or perhaps as much as a million."

{Greater organisms} might even have hands .. maybe it's an antenna, maybe a tentacle …maybe an octopus would look at us and think 'How can you expect this organism to develop technology with its two clumsy front limbs?'"


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