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
One of the nearest extra-solar planets to Earth, Proxima B, has recently fallen out of favor as a potential home to alien life. Maybe it’s not time to count it out just yet.Read More Extraterrestrial Life May Feel at Home on Proxima B After All
The idea of life on Venus has fallen out of favor in recent decades. But, maybe it’s time to start looking for life on this world after all…Read More Is Venus the Hottest New Spot to Search for Extraterrestrial Life?
Michio Kaku answered questions about the nature of alien life during an AMA. Here are the three likelihoods he postulated, as well as a couple of our own.Read More Is Michio Kaku Right About Aliens, and What Does that Mean for First Contact?
The TRAPPIST-1 system, 39 light years from Earth, could be home to a pair of habitable planets. How do we know what life may be like on these distant worlds?Read More TRAPPIST-1 Could be Home to Two Habitable Planets