With New Study, NASA Seeks the Science behind UFOs

Although modest in scope, a NASA research project reflects shifting attitudes toward the formerly taboo subject of UFOs

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

New Instrument Could Spy Signs of Alien Life in Glowing Rocks

Organisms on Earth produce a wide array of durable “biofluorescent” materials. If those on other planets do, too, the Compact Color Biofinder should be able to detect them

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Webb Telescope Will Look for Signs of Life Way Out There

The first question astronomers want to answer about exoplanets: Do they have atmospheres friendly to life?

#extraterrestrial-life, #planets, #science-and-technology, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories, #your-feed-science

Controversy Grows Over whether Mars Samples Endanger Earth

Planetary scientists are eager to bring Red Planet rocks, soil and even air to Earth, but critics fear the risk of contaminating our world’s biosphere 

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #planetary-science, #space-exploration, #spacephysics

A Chinese Telescope Did Not Find an Alien Signal. The Search Continues.

China’s astronomers have been initiated into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence with the kind of false alarm that others in the field have experienced for decades.

#china, #extraterrestrial-life, #five-hundred-meter-aperture-spherical-radio-telescope, #seti-institute, #space-and-astronomy, #telescopes-and-observatories

NASA Plans to Join U.F.O. Research Efforts

The truth is out there, and now America’s space agency will add its resources to the study of unidentified aerial phenomena.

#extraterrestrial-life, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-politics-and-government

Scientists Sprout First-Ever Seedlings in Apollo Moon Dirt

We now know that plants survive but fail to thrive in lunar soil

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Origin of Life Theory Involving RNA–Protein Hybrid Gets New Support

A structure that links amino acids suggests that early organisms could have been based on an RNA-protein mix

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Ukrainian Astronomers Discover ‘Exocomets’ around Another Star

The alien comets could illuminate the history of their planetary system

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#astronomy, #astrophysics, #extraterrestrial-life, #planetary-science, #spacephysics

Imagine Another World. Now Imagine 5,000 More.

NASA recently announced that it had detected more than 5,000 exoplanets, so we asked astronomers, actors and an astronaut to share their favorite worlds orbiting distant stars.

#bloom-rachel-leah-1987, #druyan-ann, #extraterrestrial-life, #hadfield-chris, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #planets, #research, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories, #wheaton-wil

Researchers Made a New Message for Extraterrestrials

An updated communication could be beamed out for space alien listeners in hopes of making first contact

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#astronomy, #astrophysics, #extraterrestrial-life, #space-exploration, #spacephysics

Jim Green, NASA’s Retiring Top Scientist, Says We Can Terraform Mars

Jim Green has shaped much of the space agency’s scientific inquiry for decades.

#content-type-personal-profile, #europa-moon-of-jupiter, #extraterrestrial-life, #james-green, #mars-planet, #planets, #space-and-astronomy, #venus-planet

Life Is Complicated–Literally, Astrobiologists Say

A new theory suggests that searches for molecular complexity could uncover convincing evidence of extraterrestrial life—and do so soon

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

How Scientists Could Tell The World if They Find Alien Life

Sparked by major advances in their field, astrobiologists are grappling with how to best discuss possible breakthrough discoveries with the public

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

A Mysterious ‘Alien Beacon’ Was Actually a False Alarm

Radio signal seemed to originate from the star Proxima Centauri, and provided a helpful drill for future searches

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Microbes, Natural Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence

Humanity’s greatest achievement might be building our successors

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

How to Search for Life as We Don’t Know It

Much of astrobiology is focused on looking for organisms with chemistry similar to ours—but there could well be other kinds

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Astronomers Should be Willing to Look Closer at Weird Objects in the Sky

The Galileo Project seeks to train telescopes on unidentified aerial phenomena

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Note to Branson and Bezos: Extraterrestrials Will Not Be Impressed

If they exist, they’ll find our puny forays into space completely insignificant

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Looking for Interstellar Monuments

An ancient civilization from a distant star could have created immortal machines to roam the Milky Way and keep its legacy alive

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

To Look or Not to Look? That Is the Question

The search for technological relics of extraterrestrial civilizations will inspire the public and attract talent to the field of astronomy

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

When Will We Hear from Extraterrestrials?

Project Galileo could make that happen sooner rather than later

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Crumbly Mars Rock, Not Hardware Flaws, Scuttled Perseverance’s First Sample Attempt

After an alarming failure, the rover is set to continue its mission to retrieve specimens for eventual return to Earth

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #planetary-science, #space-exploration, #spacephysics

Martian Crust Could Sustain Life through Radiation

Meteorites reveal that so long as groundwater is present, the Martian subsurface is habitable

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#advances, #biology, #extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

Future Space Travel Might Require Mushrooms

The mycologist Paul Stamets discusses the potential extraterrestrial uses of fungi, including terraforming planets, building human habitats—and providing psilocybin therapy to astronauts

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

George Forss, 80, Photographer Discovered on the Street, Dies

He was peddling his black-and-white photos of New York City’s majesty for $5 each in the 1980s — until a famous photographer came upon them in “astonishment.”

#deaths-obituaries, #extraterrestrial-life, #forss-george, #new-york-city, #nineteen-hundred-eighties, #photography, #street-vendors-non-food

To Understand UAP, We Need Megapixel Imagery

If any of them represent advanced technology, high-resolution photographs might tell us whether they’re metaphorically labeled “Made in China” or “Made on Exoplanet X”

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

On Earth, things evolve into crabs—could the same be true in space?

It sure looks like a crab, but it isn't. Why are crab-like forms so common?

Enlarge / It sure looks like a crab, but it isn’t. Why are crab-like forms so common? (credit: David Kirkland / Design Pics)

Many organisms on planet Earth aren’t crabs. Dogs, for instance—definitely not crabs. Science also suggests that humans are not, in fact, crabs. But a surprising number of creatures either are crabs or look a lot like them. For example, a hermit crab has a distinctly crab-like appearance but is not technically a real crab. Hermit crabs are not alone; over the history of life on Earth, there have been five separate cases in which decapod crustaceans have evolved this way, a process common enough that it has picked up a formal term: carcinization.

Around a year ago, this evolutionary process captured the imagination of the Internet. Headlines like “Why everything eventually becomes a crab” and “Why Does Evolution Keep Turning Everything Into Crabs” popped up. PBS even made a video.

“Everything” is clear hyperbole—the overwhelming majority of things on Earth are not crabs and seemingly have no plans to become them. But if there are benefits to having a crab-like shape on Earth, should we view that as a general rule of life? Could it hold true on other planets? If the process of carcinization operates here, it’s not unreasonable to expect that it might happen elsewhere.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#biology, #crabs, #evolution, #extraterrestrial-life, #oceans, #science, #space

Harvard’s Avi Loeb Thinks We Should Study UFOs–and He’s Not Wrong

As a SETI scientist, I’m grateful that he has the freedom—and the guts—to go where few would dare to go

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#extraterrestrial-life, #spacephysics

When Euphemisms (but Never Sharks) Attack

Plus, orphaned grizzlies, baby deer in the shower, hoot-owl restrictions and more in the Friday edition of the Science Times newsletter.

#extraterrestrial-life, #sharks, #young-men-and-fire-a-true-story-of-the-mann-gulch-fire-book, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Chris Carter, ‘The X-Files’ Creator, on U.F.O.s and Aliens

“Could the government actually be telling the truth? Or is the truth above top secret?” asks “X-Files” creator Chris Carter.

#carter-chris-c, #conspiracy-theories, #extraterrestrial-life, #the-x-files-tv-program, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo

U.F.O.s: Why the Truth Has Not Always Been Out There

Rather than explaining when U.F.O. sightings were really just top-secret planes, the government has sometimes allowed public eagerness about the possibility of aliens to take hold.

#central-intelligence-agency, #cold-war-era, #defense-department, #extraterrestrial-life, #roswell-nm, #rumors-and-misinformation, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-air-force, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government

U.F.O.s: The Truth Has Not Always Been Out There

Rather than explaining when U.F.O. sightings were really just top-secret planes, the government has sometimes allowed public eagerness about the possibility of aliens to take hold.

#central-intelligence-agency, #cold-war-era, #defense-department, #extraterrestrial-life, #roswell-nm, #rumors-and-misinformation, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-air-force, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government

Prepare Yourself for Little Green Men

If you can’t wait to read the U.S. government’s report about U.F.O.s, try one of these seven books.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-service, #extraterrestrial-life, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo

U.F.O.s and the Search for Alien Life

Readers speculate about how extraterrestrial beings would view our world. Also: The Wuhan lab; the C.D.C. and mild infections.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #extraterrestrial-life, #laboratories-and-scientific-equipment, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #wuhan-china

Government Report Finds No Evidence U.F.O.s Were Alien Spacecraft

The strange objects witnessed by Navy pilots remain unexplained, but officials briefed on a new study say they are not secret technology from a classified American program.

#classified-information-and-state-secrets, #defense-department, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #extraterrestrial-life, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #pilots, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-navy, #united-states-politics-and-government

New NASA Missions Will Study Venus, a World Overlooked for Decades

One of the spacecraft will probe the hellish planet’s clouds, which could potentially help settle the debate over whether they are habitable by floating microbes.

#extraterrestrial-life, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #research, #rocket-science-and-propulsion, #space-and-astronomy, #venus-planet

The U.F.O. Sightings Don’t Impress This Physicist

There are good reasons to believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, but this is not one of them.

#extraterrestrial-life, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-navy

Our Aliens, Ourselves

How would contact with U.F.O.s and other civilizations change ours?

#earth, #extraterrestrial-life, #planets, #reid-harry, #science-fiction, #space-and-astronomy, #unidentified-flying-objects-ufo, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

When the Aliens Arrive, What Will They Look Like? A Zoologist Has Answers

In “A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Arik Kershenbaum uses his knowledge of the various species here on Earth to speculate about what might exist out there.

#books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #extraterrestrial-life, #kershenbaum-arik, #planets, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #the-zoologists-guide-to-the-galaxy-what-animals-on-earth-reveal-about-aliens-and-ourselves-book

Aliens Must Be Out There

Why aren’t we looking for them?

#extraterrestrial-life, #loeb-abraham-1962, #physics, #planets, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #sun

Life on Venus? The Picture Gets Cloudier

Despite doubts from many scientists, a team of researchers who said they had detected an unusual gas in the planet’s atmosphere were still confident of their findings.

#chemistry, #extraterrestrial-life, #microbiology, #research, #space-and-astronomy, #telescopes-and-observatories, #venus-planet

Did an Alien Life-Form Do a Drive-By of Our Solar System in 2017?

“Extraterrestrial,” by the Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, makes the case for intelligent life in outer space — and for evidence that it may have visited us not long ago.

#books-and-literature, #extraterrestrial-life, #extraterrestrial-the-first-sign-of-intelligent-life-beyond-earth-book, #loeb-abraham-1962, #space-and-astronomy

Was That a Dropped Call From ET?

A spooky radio signal showed up after a radio telescope was aimed at the next star over from our sun.

#breakthrough-listen, #extraterrestrial-life, #radio, #research, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories

A New Theory About the Monolith: We’re the Aliens

A mysterious metal pillar in a desert would be interesting in any year. But something about 2020 has made one a global phenomenon.

#deserts, #extraterrestrial-life, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #quarantine-life-and-culture

Did John McCracken Make That Monolith in Utah?

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, buried in the desert: If the sculptor made this tall, silvery object, it was without mentioning a word to his dealer or his art friends.

#2001-a-space-odyssey-movie, #art, #deserts, #extraterrestrial-life, #john-mccracken, #kelley-mike-1954-2012, #ruscha-edward, #sculpture, #star-trek-tv-program, #utah, #zwirner-david-gallery

Arecibo Observatory, a Great Eye on the Cosmos, Is Going Dark

The radio telescope in Puerto Rico has to come down before it collapses.

#arecibo-observatory, #drake-frank, #extraterrestrial-life, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #physics, #puerto-rico, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories

Stuart Bowyer, Astronomer Who Lent His Ear to the Cosmos, Dies at 86

He was a scientist who succeeded in seeing the unseeable and hoped to tune in to extraterrestrial life.

#bowyer-stuart-1934-2020, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-obituaries, #extraterrestrial-life, #soyuz-project, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #telescopes-and-observatories, #ultraviolet-light, #university-of-california-berkeley

On Venus, Cloudy With a Chance of Microbial Life

Astrobiologists shift their gaze, and speculations, to Earth’s broiling sister planet.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #extraterrestrial-life, #microbiology, #planets, #seager-sara-1971, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #venus-planet, #your-feed-science

The Search for Life on Venus Could Start With Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab may be able to send a small spacecraft to probe the clouds of Venus long before NASA or other space agencies are able to do so.

#beck-peter-scientist, #extraterrestrial-life, #private-spaceflight, #research, #rocket-lab, #rocket-science-and-propulsion, #satellites, #space-and-astronomy, #venus-planet, #your-feed-science