On November 1st, 1961, a number of prominent scientists converged on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, for a three-day conference. A year earlier, this facility had been the site of the first modern SETI experiment (Project Ozma), where famed astronomers Frank Drake and Carl Sagan used the […]

Deputy project scientist Ken Williford shares his hopes about what NASA’s latest rover might discover on the Red Planet. A technician examines one of Perseverance’s sample tubes at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When the tube returns to Earth, it will contain Mars rocks and, just maybe, hints of life. (Credit: […]

The ultra-powerful James Webb Space Telescope will launch soon. Once it’s deployed, and in position at the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 2, it’ll begin work. One of its jobs is to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets and look for biosignatures. It should be simple, right? Just scan the atmosphere until you […]

CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, also called The Dish, located in Australia (Image: © CSIRO/A. Cherney) Astronomers hunting for radio signals from alien civilizations have detected an “intriguing signal” from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star system to the sun, The Guardian reported. The researchers are still preparing a paper […]

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a team of scientists has identified a mysterious molecule in Titan’s atmosphere. It’s called cyclopropenylidene (C3H2), a simple carbon-based compound that has never been seen in an atmosphere before. According to the team’s study published in The Astronomical Journal, this molecule could be a precursor to more complex […]

Planet Venus: The phosphine is detected at mid-latitudes JAXA/ISAS/AKATSUKI PROJECT TEAM It’s an extraordinary possibility – the idea that living organisms are floating in the clouds of Planet Venus. But this is what astronomers are now considering after detecting a gas in the atmosphere they can’t explain. That gas is […]

In 2015, Russian-American billionaire Yuri Milner established Breakthrough Initiatives, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing space exploration. Central to this effort is Breakthrough Listen, a ten-year international research program dedicated to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the largest and most sophisticated effort to find intelligent life beyond Earth to date. In the […]

Animation One of the biggest and longest-standing questions in the history of human thought is whether there are other intelligent life forms within our Universe. Obtaining good estimates of the number of possible extraterrestrial civilizations has however been very challenging. A new study led by the University of Nottingham and […]