A New Type of Dyson Sphere May Be Nearly Impossible to Detect

Over fifty years ago, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed an awesome, if slightly insane, idea: That an advanced alien civilization might construct a massive, energy-harvesting sphere around its star, and bunk up inside. » 3/28/15 4:00pm Saturday 4:00pm

DNA Can Survive Sub-Orbital Spaceflight And Atmospheric Reentry

The discovery is a boost for the Panspermia Hypothesis — but it's a potential nightmare for scientists concerned about interplanetary contamination. » 11/27/14 9:40am 11/27/14 9:40am

​The French Government Has An Official Agency Of UFO Hunters

Inside the French Space Centre headquarters, a small team consisting of four staffers and a dozen volunteers is tasked with analyzing reports of unidentified flying objects — and sometimes, the agency dispatches trained investigators to visit the locations of the strange sightings. They are the Agents of G.E.I.P.A.N. » 11/05/14 9:20am 11/05/14 9:20am

Could Biological Life Be Just A Passing Phase In The Universe?

Steven Dick, a famed astronomer and historian, has completed a one-year residency at the Library of Congress, researching his next book, How the Discovery of Life Will Transform Our Thinking. In an exclusive interview posted on the Library's blog, he discusses such provocative issues as evolution on a cosmic scale. » 10/29/14 3:20pm 10/29/14 3:20pm

The Most Extreme Environments Where Alien Life Could Be Found

There may be as many as 100 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way. But just what, exactly, are the requirements for life? And what are the environmental extremes that life can handle? A new checklist for the habitability of exoplanets attempts to answer these questions. » 6/10/14 8:10am 6/10/14 8:10am

The Brookings Institution Gave NASA Advice About Extraterrestrial Life

Shortly after NASA was founded, it sought out expert opinions on the international, legal and economic ramifications of the U.S. space program. The venerable Washington-based think tank, The Brookings Institution, responded with a 1960 report that included thoughts on dealing with aliens. » 5/13/14 11:20am 5/13/14 11:20am

NASA plans a robotic mission to search for life on Europa

It looks like it's finally going to happen, an actual mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa — one of the the solar system's best candidates for hosting alien life. » 3/05/14 6:20am 3/05/14 6:20am

11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now. No theory to date has satisfactorily explained away this Great Silence, so… » 3/20/13 10:01am 3/20/13 10:01am

Could these meteorites hold the first evidence of extraterrestrial life?

Scientists in Wales are claiming that they may have found fossilized microbes in meteorites that crashed to the ground a few years ago in Sri Lanka. The meteorites have a geological composition characteristic of comets, but when the researchers cracked them open they found something unexpected. » 3/11/13 12:32pm 3/11/13 12:32pm

One of the best places to search for alien life is the last that you'd…

In death, it has been said, there is often life. And while it may sound counterintuitive, this old saw may hold especially true in the search for life of the extraterrestrial variety. NASA's Kepler mission may be just years away from discovering Earth 2.0, but the first signs of life probably won't come from planets… » 3/01/13 11:00am 3/01/13 11:00am

Lots of planets might have big moons just like ours

The Moon is ridiculously big relative to the size of Earth, and this was thought to be a cosmic rarity. Now it looks like rocky planets with huge moons are actually extremely common, which might help us find alien life. » 6/07/11 12:36pm 6/07/11 12:36pm

Once we find extraterrestrial intelligence, how long will it take us to…

It seems too cruel to believe we're the only technologically advanced species in the cosmos. We couldn't possibly be the only ones, with so many stars and so many habitable planets out there. » 4/13/11 3:30pm 4/13/11 3:30pm

Is NASA about to announce the discovery of extraterrestrial life?

NASA is bringing together a geologist, an oceanographer, a biologist, and an ecologist for a press conference on Thursday to talk about an astrobiology discovery that "will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." Yeah, this could be major. » 11/30/10 10:32am 11/30/10 10:32am

Have we already received an alien signal from Earthlike planet Zarmina?

That's what one scientist is claiming, saying he detected a suspicious light pulse in the vicinity of Gliese 581g two years ago. But the rest of the astronomy community is blasting his claims, accusing him of making a mistake...or worse. » 10/11/10 5:00pm 10/11/10 5:00pm

Even 1,000 alien invasions would be better than being all alone in the…

Our species' long-term survival might ultimately rest on our ability to keep existence interesting, and that could prove impossible unless we find aliens to talk to. Without other intelligent lifeforms around, say theorists, humanity's collective intellect might wither and die. » 10/04/10 10:50am 10/04/10 10:50am

Could "blue holes" offer clues about the biology of extraterrestrials?

In the Bahamas' submerged inland caverns, or "blue holes," a thin layer of fresh water separates oxygen from salt water. This creates a submerged, oxygen-free environment that could resemble underground water pockets on Mars or the seas of Europa. » 7/18/10 9:00am 7/18/10 9:00am

Could extraterrestrial life be hiding out on red dwarf planets?

In the next two or three years, advances in NASA's Kepler telescope will allow astronomers to determine which planets outside our solar system could potentially sustain life. Exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars are likely candidates for having Earth-like environments. » 7/04/10 1:41pm 7/04/10 1:41pm

Other Suns and Planets May Provide Better Conditions for Life than Our…

While our sun and Earth have allowed for the development of a relative bounty of life, many astronomers are starting to believe that the conditions they provide aren't unique, or even ideal, suggesting we may not be alone after all. » 8/13/09 7:30am 8/13/09 7:30am

We Could Be Discovering Earthlike Planets By 2013

There are probably billions of Earthlike planets in our galaxy alone, predicts scientist Alan Boss. With NASA launching the Kepler satellite, seeking other Earths, you can expect the first discoveries in a few years. » 2/27/09 11:23am 2/27/09 11:23am

Life On Mars? "Maybe," Says NASA

Now that the Phoenix lander is up there digging trenches on Mars, conspiracy theories are starting to swirl. This week, even the mainstream media was abuzz with reports that NASA was withholding a major announcement - the discovery of life (or evidence of past life) on Mars. The wild speculation forced NASA to go… » 8/07/08 8:00am 8/07/08 8:00am