Latest news about alien life

Kavli-IAU Symposium (IAUS 387): (Toward) Discovery of Life Beyond Earth and its Impact

April 11, 2024, 5:37 p.m. • SETI Institute • (1 Minute Read)

The Kavli-IAU Symposium (IAUS 387) in Durham, UK, focuses on the ongoing search for life beyond Earth and its potential impact on humanity. Driven by advances in astronomy, computing, and space exploration, the symposium highlights the growing interest and investment in the exploration of exoplanets, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the interrogation of planetary atmospheres for signs of life. With active and planned missions from NASA and ESA, investment in planetary astronomy, and the development of advanced technologies such as Machine Learning algorithms, the symposium emphasizes the urgency of preparing for a potential discovery and its profound impact on society. The event features discussions on the implications of such a discovery for science, anthropology, theology, law, ethics, and art, emphasizing the need to bring together diverse expertise to assess evidence and communicate with the public in a responsible manner.

Billionaire-backed Harvard prof says science should take UFOs seriously

April 8, 2024, 9:46 a.m. • Business Insider • (12 Minute Read)

Harvard professor Avi Loeb's controversial quest to search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, backed by wealthy tech tycoons, has sparked debate and drawn ire from some of his colleagues. Loeb, who has set out to find signs of alien technology on Earth, believes that the scientific community's reluctance to take UFOs seriously has hindered the search for evidence. Despite facing criticism from peers, he has garnered support from a growing fanbase and received funding for his ambitious research program, The Galileo Project. With his rising public persona and financial backing from wealthy individuals, Loeb is determined to challenge the prevailing skepticism and push the boundaries of conventional astrophysical research.

Beyond The Stars: AI's Breakthrough Mission To Discover Alien Existence

April 5, 2024, 2 p.m. • Forbes • (3 Minute Read)

In a groundbreaking exploration into the universe, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a vital tool in the search for extraterrestrial life, presenting the possibility of facilitating the first contact. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has traditionally relied on scanning the cosmos for signals indicative of alien life, a monumental task given the vastness of space. However, AI has revolutionized this search by processing and analyzing extensive datasets with unprecedented speed and accuracy, such as in the Breakthrough Listen project. AI algorithms have also proven invaluable in identifying exoplanets using data from space telescopes, and are being used to predict habitability and decipher potential extraterrestrial signals. As humanity stands on the brink of potentially discovering alien life, the integration of AI into this cosmic quest signifies a new era in our understanding of the universe, with AI reshaping our ability to explore and redefine our place in the cosmos.

If life exists on Jupiter's moon Europa, scientists might soon be able to detect it

April 5, 2024, 12:01 p.m. • Yahoo News UK • (6 Minute Read)

In a groundbreaking scientific discovery, the NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft, set to launch in October 2024, may have the capability to directly detect alien life on Jupiter's moon Europa. The spacecraft's Suda (Surface Dust Mass Analyser) instrument, designed to collect and analyze ice grains and dust from Europa's surface, could potentially detect the presence of organic compounds and chemicals that are essential for life. This finding suggests that if alien life exists on Europa, the spacecraft may be able to detect it. Scientists believe that Europa's extreme tidal forces generate heat within the moon, supporting the theory of a liquid water ocean beneath its icy surface. The spacecraft aims to provide more detail on the key ingredients for life at Europa, potentially leading to a landmark scientific discovery if evidence of alien life is found. This rare finding could provide insights into the origins of life on Earth and answer the longstanding question of whether biology exists beyond our planet. If successful, this mission could revolutionize our understanding of the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system.

3 Body Problem: is the universe really a 'dark forest' full of hostile aliens in hiding?

April 3, 2024, 3:51 p.m. • The Conversation • (3 Minute Read)

The article explores the Fermi paradox, which questions the absence of contact with extraterrestrial life given the likely occurrence of favorable conditions for life in the universe. The story introduces a character, Ye Wenjie, from the Netflix series "3 Body Problem," who receives a warning from an alien civilization, advocating silence to avoid Earth's destruction. This concept of a "dark forest" universe, where civilizations hide to survive, is further explored in Cixin Liu's book "The Dark Forest." While this theory has influenced thinking on potential alien contact, it is criticized as speculative and unconvincing, as the lack of contact may simply be due to various other factors, such as distance or communication methods.

A Proposal For Enhancing Technosignature Search Toward The Galactic Center - Astrobiology

April 2, 2024, 8:25 p.m. • Astrobiology News • (2 Minute Read)

In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researcher Naoki Seto proposes an innovative approach to enhancing the search for technosignatures - indications of advanced technological civilizations - toward the Galactic center. Seto suggests using the clockwork orbital motions of stars around the Sgr A∗ black hole to determine the distance to the Galactic center with exceptional accuracy. By employing a prominent object such as the bright B-type star S2 as a precise reference point, the search directions around the Galactic center could be significantly compressed. This approach could potentially advance the search for intelligent life in the remote and vast expanse of the Milky Way galaxy. The study's findings open up new possibilities for coordinated signaling schemes and systematic communication between potential senders and searchers in the cosmos. This proposal marks a significant step forward in the ongoing quest to explore the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence within our galaxy.

Search For Gravitationally Lensed Interstellar Transmissions - Astrobiology

April 2, 2024, 7:55 p.m. • Astrobiology News • (3 Minute Read)

In the pursuit of detecting interstellar transmissions using gravitationally lensed phenomena, a recent study has revealed that the most efficient reception occurs when the transmitter, lens, and receiver are nearly aligned. The research explores diverse strategies for signal detection, incorporating existing and emerging technologies. The findings also suggest that signals from nearby stars could be detected using established photonics and optical engineering technologies, along with collaborative astronomical facilities. This advancement in understanding interstellar power transmission through gravitational lensing significantly contributes to ongoing efforts in optical SETI and supports the feasibility of such transmissions. The study, led by Slava G. Turyshev, provides valuable insights for the astrobiology and SETI communities.

Radio Astronomy: Why study it? What can it teach us about finding life beyond Earth?

April 1, 2024, 2:11 a.m. • Universe Today • (5 Minute Read)

The significance of studying impact craters, planetary surfaces, exoplanets, and astrobiology in radio astronomy, were discussed in a recent investigation by Universe Today, shedding light on the field's contribution to understanding our place in the universe and finding life beyond Earth. Dr. Wael Farah, a research scientist at the SETI Institute, emphasized the transformative impact of radio astronomy, which provides insights into celestial objects and phenomena such as synchrotron radiation, offering a unique perspective on the cosmos. While challenges such as Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) exist, the field's interdisciplinary nature presents exciting opportunities for students. By studying Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and Seeking Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), radio astronomy reaffirms its potential for discovering life beyond Earth. The recent closure of the Arecibo Observatory, a historic radio telescope, underscores the evolving landscape of radio astronomy. With more than 100 operational radio telescopes worldwide, including the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), radio astronomy continues to advance our understanding of the universe, offering a promising avenue for scientific progress and potential groundbreaking discoveries.

What will happen if we find alien life?

March 30, 2024, 10 a.m. • • (3 Minute Read)

Dame Maggie Aderin-Pocock has made a bold prediction that alien life will be discovered in 2024. Despite this exciting prospect, the world lacks a well-organized plan for how to handle such a discovery. Nick Pope, a former civilian UFO investigator for the Ministry of Defence, expressed frustration over the lack of preparedness for a potential first contact event, emphasizing its far-reaching implications for politics, religion, science and technology, the economy, and beyond. While the International Academy of Astronautics has proposed a set of general guidelines in the Declaration of Principles for approaching the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life, there's a distinct absence of a coherent, internationally coordinated plan for this unprecedented event. However, some progress is being made in considering how to handle such an announcement within government circles, with efforts to initiate discussions on communication plans at the science, innovation, and technology committee. The growing consensus among scientists and experts suggests that it's only a matter of time before alien life is discovered, and these developments highlight the need for more multidisciplinary conversations on the subject among various sectors of society.

Zoo hypothesis likely explains why we haven't seen aliens yet

March 22, 2024, 8:23 p.m. • Interesting Engineering • (3 Minute Read)

A new study analyzing the so-called "zoo hypothesis" suggests that advanced alien civilizations may be deliberately hiding from us, thus explaining why we have not yet made contact. The study, published in Nature Astronomy, speculates that extraterrestrial societies may be intentionally avoiding interaction with humanity in order to allow our evolution and societal development to proceed without interference. This intriguing possibility, first put forth by radio astronomer John A. Ball in 1973, raises questions about the nature of potential extraterrestrial life and the methods that could be used to detect it. Scientists believe that ongoing efforts, such as SETI surveys and advances in exoplanet studies, may provide answers to the long-standing question of whether we are alone in the universe. Furthermore, one of the researchers predicts that proof of extraterrestrial life could be discovered within the next 15 years, marking a significant turning point in our understanding of the cosmos.

High School Students Contribute to Exoplanet Discovery

March 20, 2024, 4:38 p.m. • SETI Institute • (4 Minute Read)

In a project aimed at democratizing science and fostering educational enrichment, a group of high school students from the Galaxy Explorer program at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California, made contributions to the field of exoplanet research. The students, equipped with backpack-sized digital smart telescopes provided by Unistellar and guided by researchers from the SETI Institute, observed and confirmed the nature of a warm and dense sub-Saturn planet, known as TIC 139270665 b, orbiting a metal-rich G2 star. The discovery of TIC 139270665 b, the densest known warm sub-Saturn within the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) family, marked a milestone in exploring exoplanets, emphasizing the role of public engagement in advancing scientific knowledge. The involvement of high school students in this research underscores the potential of hands-on science education to motivate and engage young minds, propelling their fascination with astronomy and strengthening their skills in astrophysics research. This initiative exemplifies the collaborative spirit of the scientific and educational communities and showcases how integrating citizen science and education can lead to discoveries and inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers, demonstrating that young minds can contribute to our understanding of the cosmos when given the opportunity.

'3 Body Problem:' How Netflix's sci-fi saga employs the famous Wow! SETI signal

March 16, 2024, 1 p.m. • • (4 Minute Read)

In the new sci-fi series "3 Body Problem," airing on Netflix, the famous Wow! SETI signal is used as a major plot point. The Wow! signal, discovered in 1977 during a standard SETI search, remains a mystery in the real world, but in the series, it is portrayed as a real message from intelligent aliens beyond Earth. The show's narrative revolves around a Chinese astrophysicist who responds to the translated signal by inviting the aliens to visit Earth, with disastrous consequences for humanity. With the series introducing a new generation to the SETI mystery, the enigmatic phenomenon adds an intriguing layer to the fictional universe of "3 Body Problem."

How Scientists Are Attempting to Communicate with Aliens: The Science Behind Arrival

March 15, 2024, 8:21 p.m. • Syfy • (4 Minute Read)

In the news story, scientists are exploring ways to communicate with aliens, drawing inspiration from the science fiction film "Arrival" and real-world efforts such as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. The SETI Institute uses radio telescopes and astronomical instruments, like the Allen Telescope Array in California, to search for alien intelligence. Additionally, NASA's Voyager spacecraft carry golden records with information about Earth and humanity, serving as interstellar messages in the hopes of making contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. Meanwhile, the Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) project focuses on sending messages to nearby stars with the goal of receiving a response within a human lifetime. These efforts to establish communication with potential alien civilizations demonstrate humanity's curiosity and interest in connecting with other intelligent beings beyond Earth.

New Study Says Mars Wasn't That Wet, Not a Great Contender for Alien Life

March 15, 2024, 1:01 p.m. • The Debrief • (2 Minute Read)

In a recent study, researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands provide evidence that Mars may not have been as wet and potentially habitable as previously believed. The study suggests that the gullies on Mars, once thought to be formed by flowing water, could have been created by the sublimation of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice. The team conducted experiments simulating martian conditions, revealing that the CO2 sublimation process can cause sand to become fluidized and mobile, creating flow patterns similar to those seen in martian gullies. Climate modeling also supported this theory, suggesting that the gully activity observed on Mars could be explained by CO2 ice processes. These findings indicate that Mars may have been significantly more arid in its recent past, casting doubt on the possibility of sustained habitable conditions and reducing the likelihood of finding evidence of extraterrestrial life on the planet.

Study Reveals Ancient Ice May Still Exist in Distant Space Objects

March 14, 2024, 2:13 p.m. • SETI Institute • (3 Minute Read)

In a recent article accepted by Icarus, a study sheds new light on the preservation of volatile substances in distant celestial bodies, revealing that ancient ice may still exist in Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). The research, co-authored by Dr. Samuel Birch at Brown University and SETI Institute senior research scientist Dr. Orkan Umurhan, challenges previous notions about the evolution of KBOs, proposing that many of these objects could still retain their original volatile ices, such as carbon monoxide (CO), for billions of years. By suggesting a simpler approach to understanding the preservation of volatile ices, the study opens up new avenues for comprehending the nature of comets and their origins. This groundbreaking research has significant implications for future explorations and could potentially change the current understanding of comets.

Giant Volcano Discovered on Mars

March 13, 2024, 1:05 p.m. • SETI Institute • (8 Minute Read)

In a groundbreaking announcement at the 55th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scientists revealed the discovery of a giant volcano and possible sheet of buried glacier ice in the eastern part of Mars’ Tharsis volcanic province. Imaged repeatedly by orbiting spacecraft since 1971, the giant volcano had been hiding in plain sight for decades, at the boundary between the heavily fractured maze-like Noctis Labyrinthus and the monumental canyons of Valles Marineris. Provisionally designated “Noctis volcano,” it reaches +9022 meters in elevation and spans 450 kilometers in width. The discovery points to an exciting new place to study Mars’ geologic evolution through time, search for life, and explore with robots and humans in the future. The study was conducted using data from NASA and ESA missions, and was led by Dr. Pascal Lee and his team at the SETI Institute and the Mars Institute.

The Fermi Paradox

March 13, 2024, 4:12 a.m. • SETI Institute • (2 Minute Read)

In 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi made a lunchtime remark that has intrigued and puzzled researchers ever since. He suggested that, given the age of the galaxy and the potential for colonization by advanced societies, there should be clear evidence of extraterrestrial life. This dilemma, known as the Fermi Paradox, has led scientists to propose various explanations, from the cost and effort of interstellar travel to the possibility of Earth being isolated in a populated galaxy. While speculative theories abound, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) experiments offer hope for resolving the paradox by definitively proving the existence of other intelligent life forms.

Astronomer William (Jack) Welch Dies

March 11, 2024, 6:57 p.m. • SETI Institute • (2 Minute Read)

Renowned astronomer William (Jack) Welch, known for his groundbreaking work in radio astronomy and his pivotal role in the search for extraterrestrial technology, has passed away at the age of 90. Welch, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was a visionary scientist who significantly advanced our understanding of the universe. He played a crucial role in the design and development of the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array, the first observatory specifically built for SETI research. Welch, alongside SETI Institute co-founder Jill Tarter, helped shape the institute into a world-class scientific research organization. His remarkable career spanned over four decades and included numerous accolades for his contributions to radio science and the search for intelligent life beyond Earth. Welch leaves behind a lasting legacy of scientific exploration and dedication to uncovering the unknown, which will be celebrated by colleagues, students, and the broader scientific community.

In 1924, The US Turned Off Their Radios To Search For Life On Mars

March 11, 2024, 5:54 p.m. • IFLScience • (4 Minute Read)

In 1924, during a close approach between Earth and Mars, the US Government and astronomers took advantage of the situation to search for potential radio signals from alien civilizations living on the Red Planet. The public switched off their radios, while the Navy stations were asked to maintain radio silence for a brief period each hour to listen for potential communication from Martians. While it may seem unconventional, this event marked the first significant search for extraterrestrial radio signals. Despite the optimism, no radio signals from Mars were detected, leading researchers to continue their efforts to look for advanced alien life in the future. The story highlights humanity's early attempts to discover signs of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

How long can aliens maintain technosignatures

March 11, 2024, 1 p.m. • The Universe. Space. Tech • (3 Minute Read)

In a recent study published in The Astronomical Journal, scientists have revealed that technosignatures, which are purposefully created signals by extraterrestrial civilizations, may not last as long as previously thought. The study suggests that most technosignatures will be short-lived and not durable over extended periods. Researchers based their conclusion on a statistical analysis using Lindy's Law, which posits that the expected duration of technology use is proportional to its age. While some technosignatures may endure for millions of years, the majority will likely be short-lived signals that dissipate over time. This insight challenges the traditional belief that extraterrestrial signals would persist in space for millions of years, and it has significant implications for our understanding of detecting alien civilizations.