Calculations show the Universe should be teeming with life, yet we have not yet made contact with alien beings. These facts have led to the Fermi Paradox, which simply asks why we have not yet contacted life on other worlds. Some of the top researchers in the world gathered in Paris on March 18 to discuss possible answers to this paradox. One group, called Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or METI, believes we may need to send information out to other worlds via radio telescopes, as a means of inviting communication.Read More Where are the Aliens? Answering the Fermi Paradox
Binary stars may be more likely to harbor life than once believed. Astronomers thought, until now, that life was unlikely to form in systems containing two or more stars. However, a new computer model developed by an undergraduate student of astronomy shows that as binary stars form in stellar nurseries, they are often passed by a third sun. Gravity from this passer-by can draw the two binary stars closer together, increasing the amount of area warm enough for liquid water to pool on planets. Water is necessary for life on Earth to exist, and planets with water are thought to be more likely to harbor life.Read More Binary Stars May be Likely to Harbor Life, After All
NASA is readying a new spacecraft, the Europa Clipper, for a journey to explore the giant water moon of Jupiter. Europa is believed to have oceans of liquid water deeper than any found on Earth, which are heated by bending and flexing as it orbits its massive companion. The spacecraft, due for launch in 2023, will carry instruments to measure the composition and condition of the oceans of Europa, as well as that world’s atmosphere, surface, and magnetic field. Astronomers believe that Europs may be one of the most likely places in the solar system to find alien life,Read More NASA Readies Europa Clipper for First In-Depth Study of Jupiter’s Water Moon Europa
Astronomers at the SETI Institute are estimating that the human race will likely make contact with an alien species sometime in the next 25 years. Science writer James Maynard released a new look on thecosmiccompanion.com seeing what aliens may look like, based on the laws of science and evolution. Such aliens, he finds, are likely to have legs and some form of two or more eyes, and have a kind communication. Other than those features, extraterrestrials may have little in common with life on Earth.Read More Preparing for E.T. – What do Aliens Look Like?
For just the second time in history, astronomers have witnessed a repeating fast radio burst. These events are formed far beyond our galaxy, and release more energy in a small fraction of a second than our Sun produces in decades. Researchers are uncertain what causes this phenomenon, although they may be the result of black holes or ultra-dense neutron stars colliding with each other. The event was witnessed by researchers at the new CHIME radio telescope in Canada, as that instrument underwent early testing. Only 60 of these events have ever been recorded, and this is just the second one ever seen repeating. Once CHIME is fully operational, astronomers hope to see several dozen fast radio bursts every day.Read More Second Repeating Radio Burst Seen – Are Aliens Behind These Odd Events?
A newly discovered super-Earth, Barnard b, may be capable of supporting alien life, researchers at Villanova University report. This world is roughly three times larger than the Earth, and experiences frigid temperatures. However, if it is a rocky world with a molten core, like Earth and Venus, this could provide enough heat to create oceans of liquid water that could support life. Astronomers are still uncertain if Bernard b has a solid surface, or if it is a gaseous world, similar to Uranus and Neptune. The next generation of telescopes may be able to make that determination, and possibly detect life if it exists on that alien world.Read More Could Alien Life Exist on Barnard b? It’s Possible!
The Voyager 2 spacecraft reached the heliopause at the edge of the solar system on December 5th. As it passed this border where particles and magnetic fields from the Sun give way to material existing between the stars, the spacecraft became the second object made by humans to enter interstellar space. Voyager 1, its twin robotic explorer, reached the heliopause in 2012. Both craft were launched in 1977. Voyager 2 still has a long way to go before it reaches the edge of the solar system, which it is expected to exit in around 30,000 years.Read More Voyager 2 Heads Out of the Solar System – What’s Next for this Intrepid Robotic Explorer?
Astronomers from the University of Florida announced they have found a new exoplanet much like the planet Vulcan from Star Trek. Strangely enough, the actual planet was found almost exactly where the science-fiction series placed it decades ago. The planet orbits the star 40 Eridani A, just over 16 light years from Earth. The discovery was made using a 50-inch telescope on Mount Lemmon, near Tucson, Arizona.Read More Astronomers Find Mr. Spock’s Home World of Vulcan from Star Trek
A planet sitting 500 light years from Earth, Kepler 186-f, is now considered to be the most Earth-like of all worlds away from our solar system. A new study from Georgia Tech reveals the planet has a stable tilt, providing regular seasons, much like those on Earth. Currently, astronomers know of over 3,700 planets orbiting stars other than our own.Read More Explore Kepler 186-f – The Most Earth-like Exoplanet Out There
Astronomers assisting in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence are now able to examine millions of stars more than before, thanks to a new listening device. The multibeam receiver at the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia will be able to listen in on millions of stars around the Milky Way galaxy, searching for new lifeforms. The device is run by the Breakthrough Listen project, a part of Breakthrough Initiatives, founded in 2015.Read More The Search for Alien Life Just Grew a New Set of Ears