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Archive for the ‘alien life’ category: Page 63

Apr 12, 2016

NASA reveals winning concepts to explore alien worlds

Posted by in categories: alien life, space travel

Future space missions, including the journey to Mars, edge closer to reality as NASA reveals its top picks from a series of competitions designed to crowdsource innovative concepts.

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Apr 9, 2016

Why E.T. Would Also Breathe Oxygen

Posted by in category: alien life

As the third most abundant element in the universe, oxygen is both abundant and the best element in the periodic table from which to produce energy for metabolism. That’s one reason planetary scientist David Catling argues that E.T. would also breathe oxygen; as noted in this article blast from the past.


What are the odds that visiting space aliens could simply walk off their craft and start breathing our own oxygen-rich atmosphere?

Better than is generally appreciated; even among some astrobiologists.

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Apr 8, 2016

Researchers find that ribose, the ‘R’ in RNA, could form naturally in space

Posted by in category: alien life

Though the quest to find water on distant planets is the most talked-about way that researchers are looking for extraterrestrial life, one of our best bets at understanding life’s complexities lies with comets, not planets.

In fact, the icy space balls are already known to form amino acids and nucleobases, two key substances needed for life to take root. And now, researchers may have found another necessary ingredient: ribose, the ‘R’ in RNA.

Before we dive into the new discovery, it’s important to understand what life, as we know it, needs to get started, and how we think it may have happened here on Earth. Life on Earth requires three macromolecules: RNA, DNA and proteins. The current understanding is that RNA, or ribonucleic acid, came before DNA on Earth.

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Apr 7, 2016

Why E.T. Will Need Customer Service

Posted by in categories: alien life, food, transportation

If history is a guide, trade may be widespread among space-voyaging civilizations throughout the galaxy. Cultures that hate each other, still find common ground across a bartering table — as noted in this article blast from the past. #SETI


Sitting in the waiting room of my local auto repair, I honestly began to wonder if on some other far-flung planet, pointy-eared aliens would be listening for someone to sing out that they, too, were “Good to Go.”

Or, to them, would the sort of back and forth banter that we all take for granted in day-to-day business here on Earth seem as alien as ice cream? Would a highly-advanced civilization circling another sunlike star even need this sort of social lubricant?

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Apr 6, 2016

Do Aliens Exist? Here’s What Scientists Say About Life on Other Planets

Posted by in category: alien life

Aliens might be out there…watching.

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Mar 31, 2016

5 Questions For E.T

Posted by in category: alien life

Kind of a light-hearted end of week meditation on what questions we might first pose to an extraterrestrial intelligence, if they were willing to sit for an interstellar town hall. Hope you enjoy.


If extraterrestrial (E.T.) intelligent civilizations are out there, given the age of the cosmos they stand a chance of being millions, or even billions of years ahead of us in almost every way. Assuming that we were even able to start a cosmic dialogue with them, I’ve often wondered what humanity should first ask such an advanced civilization.

Here are five sample questions:

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Mar 31, 2016

Astronomers Can’t Rule Out Alien Megastructure Around Kepler Star

Posted by in category: alien life

Too soon to say whether Tabby’s Star, the Kepler star that garnered all the headlines late last year, actually harbors an alien megastructure or not. A new crowdfunding effort to fund global network of observations for the next two to three years should help resolve the matter. Don’t hold your breath.


Astronomers still can’t rule out the presence of an alien megastructure around Kepler star KIC 8462852 — located nearly 1500 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus. Strange dips in the star’s luminosity over four years of observations with NASA’s Kepler space telescope initially fueled such speculation, even though most of it was quickly dismissed.

But the currently most favored natural explanation for the strange light curves — a swarm of intervening planetary or cometary debris — remains largely unsatisfying. Thus, next month, a Kickstarter campaign will fund new ground-based observations to begin this summer that should bring more clarity to the situation.

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Mar 28, 2016

Alien Technology –“Might Be a Billion Years Old and Not Made of Matter” (Weekend Feature)

Posted by in category: alien life

The author of “Alien Minds”, Susan Schneider of the University of Pennsylvania, has proposed a “greater age of alien civilizations” argument that says that “if extraterrestrial civilizations are millions or billions of years older than us, many would be vastly more intelligent than we are. By our standards, many would be superintelligent. We are galactic babies.”

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Mar 27, 2016

Venus Likely Had Past Life; Next Step Is Finding It

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological

Venus, sometimes called Earth’s twin, is a hauntingly beautiful planet that likely had past microbial life a prominent astrobiologist asserts. If so, we need to go find it. NASA is developing the tech to withstand the high pressures and temperatures to do such a surface search.

I say there’s no excuse; Venus is closer than Mars; and while Mars may have harbored life as did Ceres, finding evidence of past life on Venus and then Mars later this century would mean that life itself evolves pretty readily.


Venus likely harbored past microbial life, if not on its exposed surface, then in the planet’s potential warm early oceans and hot pools of liquid water, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University astrobiologist now tells me.

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Mar 16, 2016

Stephen Wolfram: Could There Be Alien Intelligence Among the Digits of Pi?

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics

Stephen Wolfram, the inventor of the mathematical programming system Wolfram Language, thinks there might be intelligent life, of a sort, in the digits of pi. He spoke recently at the SETI Institute about what his “principle of computational equivalence” means for non-human intelligence — check out the heady hour-and-a-half lecture below.

The key thread running through his concept is that simple rules underpin complex behavior. For Wolfram, the pigmentation patterns on a mollusk shell, for example, aren’t necessarily the outcome of deliberate evolutionary forces. “I think the mollusk is going out into the computational universe, finding a random program, and running it and printing it on its shell,” Wolfram says in the lecture. “If I’m right, the universe is just like an elaborate version of the digits of pi.” (There is some debate, of course, over just how right Wolfram is — though you won’t really get that from the lecture.)

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