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.
- 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]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.