Nova: Finding Life Beyond Earth *Full*

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PostWed Mar 14, 2012 2:58 am » by Astroboy777


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Given man’s fascination with pondering “Are we alone?”, there certainly is no shortage of documentaries seeking to answer that question. This two-part “Nova” special doesn’t break much new ground in that regard, but it does update the template with some of the latest findings from scientists and astronomers.
Typically for “Nova,” this is dry science right down the middle. There aren’t discussions about UFOs or strange aliens revealing themselves to us. Instead, the focus is on the conditions that can facilitate the emergence of life and the likelihood of finding such a world beyond Earth.
While the universe may not be as rich in life as depicted on shows such as “Star Trek,” where aliens seem to have popped up on every other world, there’s still a vast universe of potential life taking shape in ways we can scarcely imagine.
The program does an excellent job breaking down the subject into easy-to-understand explanations, so viewers won’t need a Ph.D. to follow along.
The crux of the search is finding three basic building blocks for sustaining life. First, a system requires the right chemical mix, such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and organic elements such as carbon. Then, a planet would need large supplies of liquids for the molecules to interact and evolve. Finally, the place would need an energy source, such as heat from a star, to power the necessary chemical reactions.


Enjoy: :wink:

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