This New Infrared Telescope Could Help Us Detect Dyson Spheres

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. » 3/26/15 10:20am Thursday 10:20am

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 8:40am Wednesday 8:40am

Frank Drake: "It Would Be Silly" To Message Alien Life Today

Frank Drake, creator of the eponymous equation formulated to predict the probability of finding communicative extraterrestrial life in our galaxy, thinks that actively transmitting messages into outer space (as opposed to listening passively for extraterrestrial communication) is a silly, expensive, and inefficient… » 2/16/15 2:20pm 2/16/15 2:20pm

Experts Gather To Discuss Whether We Should Send Messages To Aliens

This coming weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, experts will be discussing the potential benefits and risks of a SETI scheme in which messages about Earth — including the entire contents of Wikipedia — would be transmitted to hundreds of star systems. » 2/09/15 8:40am 2/09/15 8:40am

This Short Video Explains Why You've Never Met An Alien

Given the extreme age of the Galaxy, extraterrestrial civilizations should have occupied every corner of it by now. Yet we see no signs of this. A short new video produced by New Scientist beautifully explains why the Fermi Paradox is a very real scientific problem and why it should be taken more seriously. » 12/16/14 10:40am 12/16/14 10:40am

How The Search For Aliens Could Save Us From Environmental Collapse

It's hard to assess the sustainability of our civilization when climate scientists and ecologists have nothing to compare ourselves to. Which is why we need to learn from the success — and potential failures — of distant alien civilizations. » 11/18/14 9:00am 11/18/14 9:00am

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 12:20pm 11/05/14 12:20pm

Nadia Drake Reflects On The Impact of Her Father's Famed Equation

In 1961, Frank Drake formulated an equation that would change the way we see ourselves in the Universe, and inspire in an unprecedented way the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Now, more than fifty years later, his daughter, science writer Nadia Drake, looks back on the impact of her father's eponymous… » 7/02/14 4:30pm 7/02/14 4:30pm

Why Search For Aliens? A Beautiful Answer, In Under 30 Seconds.

Jill Tarter, who inspired the main character in Carl Sagan's Contact, has been searching for extraterrestrial intelligence for close to 40 years. Here, in a brief but compelling video, she explains why she and so many others are driven to look for alien life. » 6/05/14 3:10pm 6/05/14 3:10pm

Exoplanets Close to Earth's Size Are Surprisingly Common

A recently-finished study of Kepler data is providing a new glimpse into the Milky Way's exoplanetary composition. Planets about one to four times the size of Earth appear to be typical around Sun-like stars. But researchers say we don't know yet whether they have the potential to harbour life. » 5/27/14 12:08pm 5/27/14 12:08pm

NASA Has Released A Free eBook About Communicating With Aliens

Titled Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication and edited by SETI Director of Interstellar Message Composition Douglas Vakoch, the document draws on "issues at the core of contemporary archaeology and anthropology" to prepare us "for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, should that day ever… » 5/24/14 5:00pm 5/24/14 5:00pm

Congress Asked Some Really Weird Questions at the Alien Life Hearing

Yesterday, SETI astrobiologists told the U.S. Congress there's "close to a 100% chance" that aliens exist, adding that we might detect signs of life in 20 years. But things went south when the floor opened up for questions. » 5/22/14 12:20pm 5/22/14 12:20pm

Are Religious Beliefs Going To Screw Up First Contact?

Are humans really prepared to meet an extraterrestrial civilization in this century? A new study suggests we're psychologically ill-prepared for this monumental event — and that the prominence of religious beliefs has a lot to do with it. » 5/09/14 10:00am 5/09/14 10:00am

14 Intriguing Ways We Could Detect Signs Of An Alien Civilization

For the past 50 years, our efforts to detect extraterrestrial civilizations have largely focused on the search for radio emissions. But this is hardly the only strategy at our disposal. Here are 14 intriguing ways we could prove that aliens really exist. » 4/11/14 10:00am 4/11/14 10:00am

How would humanity change if we knew aliens existed?

We have yet to discover any signs of an extraterrestrial civilization — a prospect that could quite literally change overnight. Should that happen, our sense of ourselves and our place in the cosmos would forever be shaken. It could even change the course of human history. Or would it? » 2/14/14 8:10am 2/14/14 8:10am

What would the perfect planet be like?

When it comes to habitability, Earth may not provide the best example. Indeed, astrobiologists are saying we should look for planets that are more hospitable to life than ours — a new class of objects they're calling superhabitable worlds. They even know where we should look. » 1/17/14 9:00am 1/17/14 9:00am

Congress Just Held a Remarkable Two-Hour Hearing on Aliens

In a refreshingly pro-science move, the House Science Committee set aside two hours yesterday to discuss the ongoing search for extraterrestrial life. The ensuing conversation was fascinating, but at times infuriating, with the experts discussing everything from alien biosignatures to the possibility that we're being… » 12/05/13 8:00am 12/05/13 8:00am

Why scientists need to search for alien life on purple planets

Billions of years ago, when microbial life first emerged on Earth, our planet would have appeared purple from space. Armed with this knowledge, scientists now say we should be on the lookout for exoplanets tinged in a similar purple hue — a possible sign of extraterrestrial life. » 11/13/13 7:20am 11/13/13 7:20am

New Kepler data could change our odds of meeting aliens

Earlier this week we reported on the astounding revelation that 22% of sunlike stars in the Milky Way are orbited by potentially habitable, Earth-sized worlds. Given that there may be billions upon billions of life-friendly planets out there, it's time to revise the numbers in the Drake Equation and estimate how many… » 11/08/13 9:38am 11/08/13 9:38am