Earth has stayed habitable for billions of years – exactly how lucky did we get?

It took evolution 3 or 4 billion years to produce humans. If the climate had completely failed just once in that time then evolution would have come to a crashing halt and we would not be here now. So to understand how we came to exist on planet Earth, we’ll need to know how Earth …

SETI: new signal excites alien hunters – here’s how we could find out if it’s real

The US$100m (£70m) Breakthrough Listen Initiative, founded by Russian billionaire, technology and science investor Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, has identified a mysterious radio signal that seems to come from the nearest star to the Sun – Proxima Centauri. This has generated a flood of excitement in the press and among scientists themselves. The …

NASA’s Planet Patrol Project lets the volunteers help to find exoplanets

NASA announced a new citizen science project called “Planet Patrol” which lets the volunteers help to find exoplanets using TESS Space Telescope (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) data. It is similar to another NASA citizen science project, “Backyard Worlds”, where volunteers or the “citizen scientists” are checking telescope images the same way the American astronomer Clyde …

Subglacial lakes on Mars: an oasis for life?

Back in 2018, using the onboard radar instrument MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding), European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter discovered an underground reservoir that is buried about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) under the ice. Now, in September 2020, scientists analyzing Mars Express data have discovered three more subglacial lakes on Mars …

Life on Venus? Astronomers detected phosphine which is a strong signature of life

Life on Venus? Astronomers have detected the first sign of life in the deadly clouds of Venus. They found phosphine which displays a strong signature of life. If we can detect life itself soon, this might be the most exciting news in history.

Why our imagination for alien life is so impoverished

It astonishes me how much we seem to know about aliens. They build technology-driven civilisations and pilot spaceships across the galaxy. They create energy-harvesting structures around their stars. They beam interstellar greetings to us. We cannot be sure that, when our own broadcasts reach them in some future era, they will breathlessly await the arrival …

NASA’s TESS Space Telescope discovers its first Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone

Exciting news! NASA’s planet-hunter TESS Space Telescope (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet in its star’s habitable zone. The discovery was announced by NASA on January 7, 2020. The planet is named “TOI 700 d”. Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers confirmed the discovery and have modeled the planet’s potential environments …