Search For Life

Huge Space Telescope Needed to Seek Life on Alien Planets
The alien planet Kepler 186f is the first extrasolar world ever found to be about the size of Earth and in the habitable zone of its parent star. But if scientists ever hope to try to find life on such a planet, giant new space telescopes are needed, rese
July 15th, 2014
While NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will be capable of finding signs of life on nearby exoplanets after its 2018 launch, a bona fide hunt for aliens beyond Earth's neighborhood will require even bigger instruments, experts say.
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Radio Signals from Jupiter Could Aid Search for Alien Life
Europa Thick Ice Crust
July 2nd, 2014
Powerful radio signals that Jupiter generates could be used to help researchers scan its giant moons for oceans that could be home to extraterrestrial life, according to a recent study submitted to the journal Icarus.
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Nearby Alien Planet May Be Capable of Supporting Life
Super-Earth Gliese 832 c Art
June 25th, 2014
Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet in the star Gliese 832's "habitable zone" — the just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist on a world's surface. The planet, known as Gliese 832c, lies just 16 light-years from Earth.
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Experts Discuss Exoplanet Hunt Wednesday: How to Watch Live
Kepler-186f, Earth-Sized Exoplanet
July 8th, 2014
The 30-minute webcast, which is called "Spotlight Live: The Hunt for Other Worlds Heats Up," begins at 3:00 p.m. EDT Wednesday. You can watch it live here on, courtesy of the nonprofit Kavli Foundation, which is hosting the discussion
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Why Alien Life Hunt Should Focus on Impact Craters
July 1st, 2014
Cosmic impacts can create novel habitats where life can flourish and preserve the remains of pre-existing life for millions of years, new research suggests.
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Continents May Be Key Feature of 'Super-Earth' Alien Planets
A super-Earth planet and its star from the perspective of the super-Earth.
June 23rd, 2014
A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth planets orbiting distant stars have exposed continents rather than just water-covered surfaces.
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In Search for Life on Alien Planets, Checklist Needed
This artist illustration shows the planet Kepler-186f, the first Earth-size alien planet discovered in the habitable zone of its star.
June 10th, 2014
A checklist for the requirements of life as scientists define it could help ground speculation about the possibilities of alien life on distant worlds, new research suggests.
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Should Humanity Try to Contact Intelligent Aliens?
humanoid aliens
July 7th, 2014
'Active SETI' sounds like science fiction, but some astronomers are discussing it seriously today. The idea is a controversial, hot-button issue, with some researchers wary of sending signals out to touch base with intelligent aliens.
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Eavedropping on ET: Two New Programs Launching to Listen for Aliens
305-meter Telescope at Arecibo
June 30th, 2014
SETI is stepping up its search for alien lifeforms on far off worlds. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program recently announced two new methods to search for signals that could come from life on other planets.
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Stars' Chemistry Key to Their Planets' Ability to Support Life
Artist's Conception of a Protoplanetary Disc
June 20th, 2014
Born in a disc of gas and rubble, planets eventually come together as larger and larger pieces of dust and rock stick together. They may be hundreds of light-years away from us, but astronomers can nevertheless watch these planets as they form.
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