The reader, think alien

17.12.2004

17.12.2004


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Scientists are already working on the images of the inhabitants of other worlds

"Sandy Driller" — a resident of the Martian desert. Author exotic insect — NASA planetary scientist Christopher McRae.

U.S. space agency (NASA) ventured a new project and invited to participate planetary scientists, biologists and science fiction writers. They need to think about who would have to live in the depths of the universe, and to portray the local fauna on the basis of alleged chemical and physical environmental conditions. Initially, the project was conceived as entertainment for the participants of the annual scientific conference entitled "Imaginary culture." But the "creation" of other people's worlds are so captured the researchers that they decided to take the problem seriously. And to demonstrate their scientific and artistic investigations once a year at a specially assembled yet. We present the first results today.

Thick-legged

"Parachute worms" similar to the pink jellyfish with garlands round warts on the sides, swaying slightly as the waves, clouds of fire, moving his thin legs. They are inhabitants of the planet, similar to Jupiter, with no solid surface. Martian desert populated "gliders" and "sand drillers" — centipedes with front tentacles and proboscis. First fly through the unfolding accordion wings. A second bristling with needles, like a cactus, to roll over in a strong wind barb without damaging your body. Two pairs of eyes — on top of the head and on the sides — give them a chance to see in the sand where they "spudded", and on the surface when they get out there. But "Paw" — a cross between a grasshopper and a spider with a shaggy mustache-antennas — lives on a planet covered with thick, dense forests, even where there is no place to put your foot. So he jumps all over the place on the stem, resembling a thin iron rod.

Chimeras, such as this "Beauty" from Earth-2 with a well-developed third limb, which allows you to jump high, came up with an American biochemist Clifford Pickover.

Guingnmy of Earth-2

Work on the creation of the "identikit" of extraterrestrial beings to be huge. For it is only in the past five years beyond the solar system discovered more than thirty sun-like stars with planets by mass approximately equal to Jupiter. While still in the "suites" of such stars is not open any Earth-like planets, astronomers are confident that the number of its "twin" high.

— Recently, we have tried to create a hypothetical image of the Earth-2 remote from us in a few tens of light years — says one of the developers of the project, biochemist and author of "Science aliens" Clifford Pickover. — We have assumed that this planet is half the weight of our mass, its atmosphere contains little more than carbon dioxide, volcanic eruptions and literally shake it, because of what the three major continent on its surface that converge, then diverge.

This data is laid in a special computer program, set the task: what on Earth-2 can live creatures? The car has given the result: "Most large animals like a cross between a horse and a giraffe, but with three legs." Maybe these are the guingnmy — reasonable horse from one of the lost islands, which came from the novel by Jonathan Swift Gulliver?

— We call them tseretridony — continues to fantasize Pickover. — These creatures are particularly well-developed third hind leg, because using it they jump like a kangaroo. Head on a long neck ending a big mouth, like a three-fingered claw. And their more advanced counterparts — bipedal tseretridony — learned to draw in the third leg under him and therefore have to run fast. As a result, become predators, catching and eating small animals. Who among them will win in the process of evolution shown by future fantasy.

We are looking for twins or monsters?

Until now among scientists is no consensus on who should be similar extraterrestrial beings — on people or bad people? Indeed, despite the fact that the basis of life are the same "bricks" — amino acids, proteins and enzymes, including as a result of the nature of chemical processes can "build" both man and beast. Now the number of "portraits" of fellow human beings is great — from energy to clot tadpole Lilliputians. But let's hope that the range of "suspects" will shrink due to the upcoming space flight. In 2010, according to U.S. and European programs "Finder" and "Darwin» NASA sends phones that are using the "fan" of powerful telescopes can detect from a great distance, even a faint light coming from the planets similar to Earth.

Attention, contest!

Dear readers, what do you imagine fellow human beings? Alien animal world? We will help scientists to their fantasies. Drawings or descriptions of aliens, but only with the mandatory scientific justification — where they live, and why so look — we look forward to: "Komsomolskaya Pravda", st. "Pravda", 24, Moscow, 125993. Make a mark on the envelope "Alien-2004". You can access and e-mail kuzina@kp.ru

For the most hilarious monster win a prize — 1000 rubles!

Svetlana COUSIN kuzina@kp.ru December 16, 2004

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