Lights of alien worlds

Since the search for extraterrestrial intelligence started, scientists have been “listening” to stars, looking for artificial radio emissions from other planets. While we keep searching for such signals, there may as well be other ways to detect alien civilizations. Light itself may in the future become an efficient way to …

DNA building blocks could have originated in space

Researchers at NASA have uncovered new evidence that DNA components found in meteorites were probably created in space.
Dr. Michael Callahan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. and colleagues closely analyzed samples from 12 different carbon-rich meteorites, 9 of which were recovered from Antarctica. They used a liquid chromatograph …

Habitability within our Galaxy – Could complex life exist elsewhere?

A team of researchers has presented a new model of habitability within the Milky Way. According to their calculations, more than one in every hundred stars may have planets capable of supporting complex life within our Galaxy. Their results will be published in the journal Astrobiology.
Astronomers generally focus on exoplanets orbiting stars …

Earth-like planets with moons? Not so rare.

A team of researchers explored the possibility of giant impacts on Earth-like planets resulting in a Moon-like satellite: according to their simulations, the phenomenon may be much more common than previously thought.
In the most popular scenario, our Moon formed after Earth and another planet collided: over time, the debris produced …

Liquid water on Enceladus?

Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, is covered with water ice. Could there be a liquid ocean beneath the icy crust? As announced at a meeting of NASA’s Enceladus Focus Group at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, there seems to be more and more evidence supporting that idea.
In 2005, …

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