Search for Life

  • The Astronaut Farmer: A Tough Row to Hoe

    The Astronaut Farmer: A Tough Row to Hoe

    March 22, 2007 | Article

    The Astronaut Farmer is the quintessential American Story. That’s right; it’s the classic, archetypical, consummate, perfected American myth, served up in packaging so homespun, you’ll wonder that the actors aren’t dressed in quilts.
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  • Listening for ET’s Television

    November 09, 2006 | Article

    Given that stars in our neighborhood are separated by about 4 light-years, it’s easy to figure that roughly 10 thousand star systems have been exposed to “I Love Lucy” in the past five decades. That's a lot of "Lucy, I'm hooome!"
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  • Uranus Has a Dark Spot

    Uranus Has a Dark Spot

    October 26, 2006 | Article

    Images of Uranus taken in August by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show that a dark spot has formed in the planet’s northern hemisphere.
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  • Shadows and Silhouettes:  Looking for Transits

    Shadows and Silhouettes: Looking for Transits

    October 05, 2006 | Article

    On November 8, Mercury will transit the Sun. From Earth, we’ll see the silhouette of Mercury travel across the disk of the Sun. Transits are uncommon but predictable events. But they can help us find extra-solar planets.
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  • Planetary Politics: Protecting Pluto

    September 07, 2006 | Article

    A resolution in California calls the International Astronomical Union mean-spirited.
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  • Contact: What Happens if a Signal is Found

    August 17, 2006 | Article

    If you chanced to be among the handful of visitors wandering the lava-strewn landscape of northeastern California on July 18, 2006, you might have seen the preamble to what could be a very giant leap for mankind.
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  • Is SETI Barking up the Wrong Tree?

    July 20, 2006 | Article

    Some people mistakenly confuse a long search with a thorough one, and figure that the lack of a SETI detection indicates that we’re alone in the Galaxy. This, however, is nonsense.
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  • Why We Must Flee the Planet: The Geometry of Earth is All Wrong

    June 29, 2006 | Article

    A sphere has less surface area than any other form of the same volume.
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  • Just the Facts: Three SETI Myths

    June 22, 2006 | Article

    Many common ideas about SETI just aren’t true, but that doesn't prevent them from popping up in popular articles, blogs, books, and even movies. Here are three of my favorite fallacies about SETI.
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  • Of Faith and Facts: Is SETI a Religion?

    June 01, 2006 | Article

    Is SETI—the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence—a religion? George Basalla, professor emeritus of history at the University of Delaware, in his book Civilized Life in the Universe (Oxford University Press: 2006) insists that SETI is more of a faith-b
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