Oct 31, 2021
Would Aliens Be Religious?
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
Protection Rules for Mars Could Be Relaxed
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
How Would Aliens Communicate?
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
The Astrobiological Potential of Rogue Planets
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
Perspectives on UAP From Across the Atlantic
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
What Color Would Aliens' Blood Be?
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
Life More Likely to Originate on Mars Than Earth?
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
Will Aliens Want to Eat Us?
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
Could Life Use Sulfuric Acid Instead of Water?
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
Martian Life Hiding in Islands of Habitability?
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
All Eyes on Alpha Centauri
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
Would Aliens Be Friendly or Threatening?
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
We May Not Find Life on Mars, and That Could Be Good
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
Crows Are Even Smarter Than We Thought
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
Was Arsenic Critical to Early Life on Earth?
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...
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