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 A Scan Of 100,000 Galaxies Shows No Sign Of Alien Mega-Civilizations

A pioneering infrared scan of 100,000 galaxies by Penn State astronomers has failed to detect any signs of galaxy-spanning extraterrestrial supercivilizations. This result, though very preliminary, may be a sign that aliens aren't capable of conquering entire galaxies. » 4/15/15 1:17pm 4/15/15 1:17pm

An Alien Radio Beacon? Probably Not This Time.

For nearly a decade, astronomers have puzzled over powerful bursts of radio energy that seem to be hailing from billions of light years away. Recently, we received reports of a new wrinkle to this mystery: The bursts appear to follow a mathematical pattern, one that doesn’t line up with anything we know about cosmic… » 4/04/15 3:00pm 4/04/15 3:00pm

We Should Be Able To Detect Spaceships Moving Near The Speed Of Light

A pair of engineers say it's possible to detect the signatures of spacecraft traveling at relativistic speeds, and we can do so using current technologies. The trouble is, their new analysis also suggests that moving through space at ludicrous speed is more hazardous than previously thought. » 3/25/15 2:22pm 3/25/15 2:22pm

Is It Time to Accept That We're Alone in the Universe?

We have yet to discover any signs of aliens, a troubling observation that has led to much speculation. One possible solution to the Great Silence is that nobody's out there. It's a conclusion that sounds impossible to believe, but there may be something to it. Here's why we may be alone in the universe. » 11/05/14 5:17pm 11/05/14 5:17pm

Why It's So Hard to Find Alien LIfe

A big reason why the Fermi paradox has punch is the matter of time. Max Tegmark gets into this in his excellent new book Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014), where he runs through what many thinkers on the subject have noted: Our Sun is young enough that countless stars and the planets that orbit them must have… » 2/14/14 11:00am 2/14/14 11:00am

How Space Heat Helps Us Hunt Down Alien Technologies

My colleagues and I have begun the Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies (G-HAT) SETI program, which has been written about here on Centauri Dreams and in other places, like in this nice summary article. I describe some of the foundations of the search here on my blog, but I have written up this short primer for … » 2/10/14 2:20pm 2/10/14 2:20pm

The True Story of the Hurricane Katrina Lightning-Laser Memorial and the Peg-Leg Biologist

Joe Davis is telling me about his design for a 110-foot lightning-laser tower that will literally seize a hurricane's force, bottle it up and hurl it angrily back into the sky. It's intended as a memorial for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Davis—whose official role at MIT is research affiliate associate in the… » 7/30/08 12:00pm 7/30/08 12:00pm