Last week (Friday. Feb. 14th), the Breakthrough Listen Initiative released about 2 petabytes of optical and radio data that they have accumulated over the past four years. This is the second data release by the non-profit effort (as part of Breakthrough Initiatives) and the public is once again invited to search through the data for […]

The subsurface offers a protected, and possibly habitable, environment. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center has released the locations of more than 1,000 cave-entrance candidates on Mars. The dots indicate the location of possible caves in the Tharsis region on Mars. (Image: © USGS) The search for present-day life […]

The history of the search for extraterrestrial life sheds light on the consequences of dismissing fringe perspectives, in science and in other disciplines. PHOTOGRAPH: BRIDGET BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES Aliens—hypothetical beings from outer space—fall into roughly three categories. They could be far-away microbes or other creatures that don’t use technology humans can […]

White dwarfs are tightly compressed balls of glowing gas left after some stars die. (Image: © Shutterstock) Humans have been searching for signs of extraterrestrial (ET) life for decades. We’ve been listening carefully for strange radio signals, looking for signatures of the artificial altering of stars and digging up rocks on Mars. […]

NASA’s scientists are applying climate models developed on Earth to understand what other worlds might be able to host life. (Image: © NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) Say what you will about winter’s chill and summer’s burn — Earth’s climate is pretty great for life as we know it. But scientists have […]

Picture of the Vinalia Faculae region of Ceres obtained by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on July 6, 2018 at an altitude of about 58 kilometers. Can a square and/or a triangle be seen? Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA An artificial neural network has identified a square structure within a triangular one in a crater […]

Alien lifeforms probably won’t look anything like this. Life is pretty easy to recognize. It moves, it grows, it eats, it excretes, it reproduces. Simple. In biology, researchers often use the acronym “MRSGREN” to describe it. It stands for movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. But Helen Sharman, Britain’s […]

This infographic compares the characteristics of three classes of stars in our galaxy: Sunlike stars are classified as G stars; stars less massive and cooler than our Sun are K dwarfs; and even fainter and cooler stars are the reddish M dwarfs. The graphic compares the stars in terms of […]

They probably won’t look anything like this. Credit: Martina Badini/Shutterstock Life is pretty easy to recognise. It moves, it grows, it eats, it excretes, it reproduces. Simple. In biology, researchers often use the acronym “MRSGREN” to describe it. It stands for movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. But Helen […]