The search for extraterrestrial intelligence just got a big boost, thanks to the introduction of a powerful new infrared telescope. In addition to scanning for pulses of infrared light, astronomers will use device to search for alien megastructures, such as Dyson Spheres.
Exoplanets—planets orbiting stars that aren't our Sun—seem to be popping out of the cosmic woodwork now that we know where and how to look for them. The Kepler mission alone has discovered 961 of them, and it's only looking at a tiny sliver of distant space. Just think of how many we'll find when the new James Lick…
It may look like a movie frame showing an Evil Mad Scientist lair, but it's just a one-minute exposure photograph of Lick Observatory, as seen from Kepler Peak. It's part of a series of outstanding shots of this beautiful place by Laurie Hatch. I asked Laurie to tell us about herself and show us her work.