Sorry, Alien Hunters: No Signs of Life From KIC 8462852

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. »11/06/15 12:40pm11/06/15 12:40pm


The Many, Many Times Astronomers Mistook Mundane Phenomena for Aliens

The science world is all in a tizzy this week about the supposed discovery of an alien megastructure. It’s an intriguing theory, no doubt, but one deserving hefty amounts of skepticism. As we’ve learned before, inexplicable observations are all too often confused for aliens. Here are some classic examples. »10/15/15 6:00pm10/15/15 6:00pm

New Scale Pinpoints Most Life-Friendly Alien Planets 

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life. The point of the exercise is to help scientists prioritize future targets for close-ups from NASA’s yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope »10/06/15 5:00pm10/06/15 5:00pm

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 2:22pm3/25/15 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 5:17pm11/05/14 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 11:00am2/14/14 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 2:20pm2/10/14 2:20pm