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…
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.
With Pluto millions of miles behind us and construction of the James Webb Space Telescope moving swiftly along, astronomers are already thinking about the Next Big Mission. At the top of their wish list? A forty foot-wide orbital telescope that’ll search for proof of life beyond Earth.
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.
If you thought the Kepler spacecraft’s glory days were over, think again. Today at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, astronomers announced a whopping 234 new exoplanet candidates discovered by Kepler in 2014. The best part? All of them are just tens of light years away.
Jupiter, that blustery ball of noxious gas, is probably the last place that comes to mind when you hear the words “life supporting.” But for twenty years, astronomers have suspected Jupiter of doing just that: supporting life on Earth, by shielding us from destructive comets. Now, one scientist is saying that’s dead…
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…
An important chapter in our exploration of the solar system concludes tomorrow, when NASA’s Cassini probe makes its final close flyby of Enceladus, an icy moon orbiting Saturn with a global ocean beneath its surface. Cassini has already collected samples to determine if Enceladus’ seawater might be habitable—but we…
Everyone’s favorite alien-megastructure-that-never-was got another affirmation that it’s just a goddamn star today. According to SETI, there are NO EXTRATERRESTRIAL LASERS emanating from the baffling stellar body.
Living on Earth, without a single other habitable world in eyeshot, can sometimes feel pretty lonely. But our isolation may be the cosmic exception. In fact, it’s possible that throughout the galaxy, life-bearing worlds usually come in pairs.
There’s a red dwarf about 35 light-years from here that’s spewing powerful, life crushing solar flares into space. These types of stellar objects are fairly common, leading to speculation that our galaxy is less habitable than we thought.
Astronomers have discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet 39 light years from home—right in our cosmic backyard. With a surface temperature of 440 degrees Fahrenheit, GJ 1132b is more of an intergalactic furnace than a vacation prospect. Yet some are hailing it “the most important planet ever found outside our solar…
“Pale orange haze” conjures up some unpleasant imagery, from chemical warfare to Sriracha plants to 19th century England. But hazy orange days didn’t always go hand-in-hand with hazmat suits. Two and a half billion years ago, a tangerine tinge in the air might have kept you alive.
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.
Yesterday, Saturn’s Cassini probe took its deepest dive yet through the icy geyser erupting from Enceladus’ south pole. We’re getting our first pictures of the historic flyby back now, and naturally, they’re incredible.
Saturn’s moon Enceladus is a cosmic wonder: a brilliant white snowball with a subterranean ocean and ice volcanoes, nestled in a gas giant’s rings. And based on samples collected during today’s historic flyby, we might soon know if this unexpectedly Earth-like moon is habitable.
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.
With NASA’s Kepler mission still turning up cosmic wonders, and a slew of exoplanet-hunting scopes on deck, the chance of finding a second Earth has never seemed higher. And yet, time may be against us when it comes to meeting our squishy galactic brethren: according to a new theoretical study, 92% of Earth-like…
The ancient Earth was a pretty miserable place. But from this eruptive, radiation-blasted, asteroid-pummeled wasteland, life did arise. Now, scientists have uncovered a tantalizing clue that Earth’s first hardy colonizers appeared much earlier than we thought.
A strange star located 1,500 light-years from Earth is exhibiting strange flickering behavior that’s leading some scientists to speculate that an alien megastructure is blocking the light. But what would such a structure be exactly and how likely is it that the Kepler space telescope has actually spotted one?