It is now in Saturn’s orbit and public attention is fading but an astrophysicist reflects on colleagues seeing ET.
Stephen Kane thinks that many Venus-like planets will be more than 4 billion years old and could well have evolved intelligent life on them at some point.
Actually, the intuition that They Are Out There is not based on science; it is based on deductive reasoning.
At least media feel freer to treat the topic that way: The turning point came in November, when Avi Loeb, the head of the astronomy department at Harvard University, co-wrote a paper saying that Oumuamua is so unusual that scientists should consider the possibility that it’s not a far-out comet or asteroid, as his colleagues assumed, […]
In which case, says an astrobiologist, the origin of life may be quite a bit easier than many of us envision.
Researchers have found that the presence of oxygen in a planet’s atmosphere may not be a strong indicator of life: Simulating in the lab the atmospheres of planets beyond the solar system, researchers successfully created both organic compounds and oxygen, absent of life. The findings, published Dec. 11 by the journal ACS Earth and Space […]
From a review of Universe in Creation: A New Understanding of the Big Bang and the Emergence of Life by astrophysicist Roy R. Gould: Whichever specific origin of life theory we turn to, the thesis that life is somehow programmed into the universe feels uncomfortable but also attractive. Uncomfortable, because it seems to carry a […]
We are told that Earth and Mars are like two siblings who have grown apart: “There was a time when their resemblance was uncanny: Both were warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres. But 3 or 4 billion years ago, these two worlds took different paths”: Long ago, Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to […]
Much information is offered here: Astronomer Jill Tarter discusses the search for intelligent life (Phys.org). Jill Tarter, one of the queens of SETI, was given royal treatment in a Harvard interview. The interviewer could have asked some hard questions, but one never treats royalty that way. “For me, after millennia of asking priests and philosophers […]
A light sail is “a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight.” Interstellar object Oumuamua, was discovered 2017 while passing through our solar system. It’s peculiar acceleration is explained, seriously, by a Harvard prof as an extraterrestrial spacecraft: Interestingly enough, there has also been some speculation that based on its shape, ‘Oumuamua might actually be an […]
Physicist S. Fred Singer offers some suggestions pertaining to the hunt for life on Mars: 1. Super-rotation of the core Seismic data, taken over a period of several years (Zhang, et al., Science 2005), suggest that the (innermost, solid iron) core is rotating slightly faster than the rest of the Earth, at 0.3-0.5 degrees/yr. We […]
Geobiologist Alexis Templeton thinks it matters: We humans tend to see the world as a solid rock coated with a thin layer of life. But to scientists like Templeton, the planet looks more like a wheel of cheese, one whose thick, leathery rind is perpetually gnawed and fermented by the microbes that inhabit its innards. […]
Careful study showed that this was not the result of contamination: In a surprise to scientists, cyanobacteria have been found thriving nearly 2,000 feet below the strange landscape, where sunlight, water, and nutrients are scarce. Researchers previously thought these microbes could survive only while basking in the sun’s rays, although they are otherwise a versatile […]
The aliens, we are told, are needles in a cosmic haystack: A new calculation shows that if space is an ocean, we’ve barely dipped in a toe. The volume of observable space combed so far for E.T. is comparable to searching the volume of a large hot tub for evidence of fish in Earth’s oceans, astronomer […]
In the story we ran yesterday, “‘Compelling new evidence’ claimed for comets generating phosphates for earliest life,” we noted that our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon thinks that the idea that building blocks of life came from space is plausible and should be demonstrable. He offers his somewhat controversial thesis here: — I’ve argued elsewhere […]