We have yet to discover a single trace of alien life, despite the extremely high probability that it exists somewhere. This contradiction is popularly known as the Fermi Paradox. A new theory attempts to solve this conundrum by suggesting that habitable planets are quite common in our galaxy, but nascent life gets…
The search for extraterrestrial life is the ultimate hybrid of creativity and science, the quest to discover something we can’t even describe yet. Jill Tarter embodies that creativity in her work with the SETI Institute, and is the subject of a special video released today.
In 1977, astronomer Jerry R. Ehman observed a data signal so unique he drew a red circle around it and wrote “Wow!” to emphasize the discovery. The source of the signal was never identified, leading some to say it was aliens. But a new study suggests it wasn’t aliens at all—but rather a hydrogen cloud caused by comets.
For three decades, humans have searched for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth, and yet we’ve only sampled a tiny drop of our vast cosmic ocean. If we’re ever to find a radio-hot, spacefaring civilization, we need to know where to point our telescopes.
With gold-plated space telescopes promising to discover distant worlds and unravel the deepest mysteries of the universe, radio astronomy can sometimes feel a bit passé. But lest you think the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is no longer sexy, a glorious new photo collection featuring radio observatories…
A few weeks back, the humans of planet Earth worked themselves into a frenzy over the possibility that the Kepler space telescope had discovered an alien megastructure. Since then, the astronomers behind the hubbub have had their heads down, hunting for the technobabble that might lend credence to the wild theory.
The Kepler Space Telescope recently picked up unprecedented flickering behavior from a distant star, leading to speculation that—among other things—it might be an alien megastructure. Now, some astronomers are saying it might just be caused by a rapidly spinning and irregularly shaped star.
This week, the internet worked itself into a frenzy over the possibility that we’ve found an alien megastructure. But whether or not there’s a Dyson sphere buried in the Kepler data, the discovery of a strange, flickering star is very interesting.
The science world is all in a tizzy this week about the supposed discovery of an alien megastructure. It’s an intriguing theory, no doubt, but one deserving hefty amounts of skepticism. As we’ve learned before, inexplicable observations are all too often confused for aliens. Here are some classic examples.
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life. The point of the exercise is to help scientists prioritize future targets for close-ups from NASA’s yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope…
Earlier this year, a scan of 100,000 galaxies showed no signs of alien mega-civilizations, dashing the hopes of those longing for a close encounter of the extra-terrestrial kind. A follow-up analysis of the data suggests it’s even worse than we thought, concluding that advanced galaxy-spanning civilizations don’t…
Humans spend a lot of time and energy wondering if there’s anybody else out there. But what if we got unequivocal evidence that there was?
If intelligent aliens are out there, we don’t want them to think we’re a bunch of backward fleshy bigots. A competition organized by the Breakthrough Initiative is offering a million dollar prize to whoever can come up with the best new message to broadcast across the cosmos.
There may be billions of habitable worlds throughout the Milky Way, but where are the radio-blasting, starship-sailing aliens? Where are our cosmic Snapchat buddies? If they exist, they’re probably thousands of light years away from us, nestled somewhere toward the center of our Galaxy.
Imagine the day when we finally receive a signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence, only to find that there’s a message embedded within. Given that we don’t speak the same language, how could we ever hope to make sense of it? We spoke to the experts to find out.
It’s generally assumed that we will eventually find signs of life in the galaxy. But rarely do we consider searching for advanced civilizations that have destroyed themselves. Here’s how we could do it—and what the search for dead aliens could tell us about our own future.
Construction is well underway on what will become the world’s largest radio telescope. Once complete, the half-kilometer-wide dish will explore the origins of the Universe and scour the skies for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner has announced a new initiative called Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year project that will search for radio and light signals emitted by extraterrestrials. At a cost of $100 million, it’s the largest sum of money ever allocated to the effort.
Given the vastness of space, it may only be a matter of time before we make contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. But how might an alien civilization react to such a monumental meet-and-greet, and can we possibly know their intentions? Here’s what we might expect.
Black Knight is an impossibly black exoplanet, a planet closer to its star than Mercury is to ours and blacker than coal. Today, it passes in front of its sun, and you can watch the transit with astronomers using the world’s largest infrared telescope.