- Exoplanets have been discovered circling some extremely old, metal-poor stars, creating interesting curiosities that might expand the theories of how planets form. These exoplanets might not harbor any kind of life... or we may want to get a bit more creative about how we envision life on other worlds. [url]
- A free-floating planet named CFBDSIR2149 is not orbiting a star, and it's only one of about two dozen or so known examples of a starless planet. This rogue planet is relatively young compared to the Earth, and some spectroscopic measurements suggest this planet's temperature is about 430° Celsius -- a bit too warm for our tastes (but maybe not for aliens?). [url]
- Within our own solar system, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected spurts of water from Saturn's moon Enceladus. This evidence leads to some speculation of a habitable zone on some icy moons where microbes might be able to survive. [url]
stories filed under: "extraterrestrial"
by Michael Ho
Mon, May 13th 2013 5:00pm
We've discovered thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, and some of them are even in the "Goldilocks zone" where liquid water could possibly exist. Some astronomers think life could be abundant in the universe, but there's not that much hard evidence (yet!). Here are just a few astronomical discoveries that might encourage researchers to look for signs of life a bit more carefully.
by Michael Ho
Thu, Sep 6th 2012 5:00pm
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Looking for extraterrestrial life has been a largely fruitless task for many decades. There have been a few times when people thought they might have found evidence of life that wasn't from Earth, but upon further analysis, those discoveries weren't so clear cut. Still, the search for ETs is on-going, and here are just a few links on some ways to find alien friends.
- Spectroscopic biosignatures could be detected in light reflections off of alien planets. Reflected sunlight is polarized when it bounces off the Earth, and plant life on Earth absorb specific bands of light -- so alien worlds may exhibit similar phenomena (if only we could detect it). [url]
- In the 1970s, there was some speculation that cellulose could be detected in interstellar space. However, it's not so easy to figure out how to detect biopolymers in the vast vacuum of space. [url]
- The Drake Equation estimates how many alien civilizations might exist in our galaxy. It's just an estimate, and there are a lot of unknown variables... [url]
- Moqui marbles are unusual spherical rocks that have a rusty iron oxide exterior and a sandy interior -- and were formed with the help of microorganisms. So if we find similar rocks on other worlds, we might be able to infer that extra-terrestrial microbial life also exists. [url]