Dirk Schulze-Makuch

Author Archive

  • Oct 31, 2021
    Last weekend, at a symposium titled Astrobiology, Planetary Sustainability, and Theology, organized by the Lutheran City Academy in Bochum, Germany, I gave a talk about the search...
  • Oct 24, 2021
    A new report by the Committee on Planetary Protection of the National Academies, co-chaired by Amanda Hendrix of the Planetary Science Institute and science policy consultant Joseph...
  • Sep 14, 2021
    Current SETI efforts are scanning the skies for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence at radio and optical frequencies, but so far without success. And even when we have a...
  • Aug 25, 2021
    When we think about extraterrestrial life on another planet, one common assumption is that we’re talking about a planet orbiting a star, which provides it with the necessary...
  • Aug 18, 2021
    Last week the German Aerospace Society held a workshop to discuss the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life and whether a recently released Pentagon report on Unidentified...
  • Jul 25, 2021
    As an astrobiologist, I often get asked how aliens would look. What people usually mean by “aliens” are complex, animal-like aliens—often humanoid in form. From the...
  • Jun 20, 2021
    A renowned international team of researchers led by Benton Clark from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, recently looked into one of the key questions in...
  • Jun 8, 2021
    Social structure is enormously important in trying to predict how alien societies might behave, as discussed in Part 1 of this series. It determines whether a society’s actions...
  • May 28, 2021
    One of the big questions in astrobiology is whether life can use solvents other than water to facilitate biochemistry. We know how critical water is for life on our planet, and how...
  • May 21, 2021
    The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth, and is often used as an analog for Mars due to climatic and geochemical similarities between the two. In a new publication,...
  • Apr 15, 2021
    Currently the premier organization dedicated to searching for advanced life in the universe is the Breakthrough Initiatives program funded by billionaire Yuri Milner in 2015. Each...
  • Apr 7, 2021
    As an astrobiologist I often get the question: What would aliens be like? By “aliens” the questioner usually means complex, animal-like beings we can communicate with in...
  • Mar 15, 2021
    Over these past few weeks, we’ve all been stunned by the beautiful images returned by the Perseverance rover on Mars. One of that mission’s main purposes is to find...
  • Feb 11, 2021
    In a fascinating paper published last year in Science, a team led by Andreas Nieder of the University of Tübingen in Germany showed that crows—already known to be among...
  • Jan 31, 2021
    We usually think of arsenic as a poison, the Borgias’ murder weapon of choice when they wanted to do away with enemies. But according to a recent paper by Pieter Visscher from...