Alien life, Space

Alien pollution could help astronomers find alien civilizations

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Pollution! While industrial pollution threatens the climate on our home planet Earth, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have come up with a way to put industrial pollution to good use. In a recent paper, Henry Lin, Gonzalo Gonzalez Abad, and Avi Loeb suggest that we should start looking for pollution on other planets to see if we…

Alien life, Astronomy

101 Dalmatians ?! Probe counts and maps the geysers on Enceladus

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The geysers on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus have been counted and mapped, strengthening theories that Enceladus is one of the best extraterrestrial places in our solar system to look for life. Earth is not the only place in our solar system which holds water. For example, Enceladus also has liquid oceans – albeit ones covered by a thick…

Alien life, Astronomy, Interviews

Scientist Interviews: Marie-Eve Naud [Astrobiology]

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A while ago, we were telling you about the discovery of a huge exoplanet – a gas giant, found just 155 light years away from Earth. The head researcher behind that study was Marie-Eve Naud. Her main research field is the detection and characterization of exoplanets, with a focus on astrobiology. She was kind enough to talk to us and shed some…

Alien life, Space

Astrobiologists testify before Congress that alien life will be encountered by 2034

SETI's Alien Telescope Array (ATA) listens day and night for a signal from space (SETI) Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/95409/aliens-dont-want-to-eat-us-says-former-seti-director/#ixzz32ouVKYsE

This past week, a few scientists took the bench and gave the U.S. Congress a relative date by which they expect we’ll have discovered signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. According to their estimates, by 2034 we should make first contact or 30 years ahead of Star Trek’s first contact. Whether this was just a stunt, a ploy…

Alien life, Space, Space flight

Mars could become colonized by stowaway Earthling tiny space travelers

Electron micrographs of Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 spores on aluminum before and after exposure to space conditions. [Reproduced with permission from P. Vaishampayan et al., Survival of Bacillus pumilus Spores for a Prolonged Period of Time in Real Space Conditions. Astrobiology Vol 12, No 5, 2012.] Image Credit: P. Vaishampayan, et al./Astrobiology

Whenever alien invasions are concerned, most people tend to image extraterrestrial spaceships landing on Earth, not the other way around. In reality, this alien invasion most likely will happen or already has happen in reverse, as Earth-based life forms could reach distant asteroids or planets, like Mars, hitching rides on human spaceship. To assess this possibility, NASA researchers published three…

Alien life, Biology, News, Observations, Space

Vitamin B may have come from space – what does this mean for origin of life?

Residue from a laboratory experiment simulating the conditions of interstellar space. The residue contained vitamin B3 (and related compounds) and may help explain meteorite chemistry. Image Credit: Karen Smith

After analyzing samples from eight different carbon-rich meteorites, researchers at Pennsylvania State Universities found these contained niacin, also known as vitamin B3 and the more pristine the meteorite, the higher the concentration. What this means is that the ancient Earth had a steady supply of vitamin B3 during its early years when it was frequently bombarded by cosmic objects, possibly…

Alien life, Space

NASA reports the first Earth-sized Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone

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Remember a few days ago, when I was telling you about the big conference NASA had planned for today? Well, they sure didn’t disappoint! The team of astrophysicists from the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center have just reported a major milestone: for the first time, they have found an Earth-sized planet at the right distance from its star – right…

Alien life, News, Observations, Space

Curiosity spots what looks like a Martian camp fire, alas it’s nothing of the sorts

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The photo right above was captured by the Curiosity Rover’s right-hand navigation camera , currently deployed on Mars and on route to Mount Sharp, which shows a striking flare of light seemingly torching near the horizon. Taken on April 4th, the photo somehow made its way to the general public (bad idea NASA) and stirred international turmoil back on Earth, where…

Alien life, Astrophysics

Ocean discovered on Enceladus may be best place to look for alien life

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Earth is not the only place in the solar system to hold watery oceans: Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons also holds a liquid ocean, albeit one that is covered by ice. However, Enceladus is still an extremely exciting place to find extraterrestrial life – not only because of the water it holds, but because water is in contact with the…

Alien life, News, Space

US space flight and ISS missions are dependent on Russia. What happens if the country pulls a squeeze?

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Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the world political scene has been suddenly turned upside down. Many were surprised by this move, and harsh words and threats from the west were thrown down Putin’s alley. Talks of economic sanctions for Russia, in hope its military presence in Ukraine might be withdrawn, have been publically made. ZME Science has often chosen to…