Storming Area 51 to find aliens? Here's some science to consider

Millions of people have signed up to a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event to storm the US military base "Area 51" on 20 September to discover whether aliens are inside. While the organisers said it was a joke, the US military ...

Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness

Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question—summed up in the famous Drake equation—has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science.

Bayesian analysis rains on exoplanet life parade

Is there life on other planets, somewhere in this enormous universe? That's probably the most compelling question we can ask. A lot of space science and space missions are pointed directly at that question.

We need to know about alien biology before we know how they think

Should E.T. finally give Earth a ring, it's not only important to understand what the message says but why it is being sent, a speaker at a talk about extraterrestrials urged this week. This requires understanding about alien ...

The Drake Equation revisited: An interview with Sara Seager

Planet hunters keep finding distant worlds that bear a resemblance to Earth. Some of the thousands of exoplanet candidates discovered to date have similar sizes or temperatures. Others possess rocky surfaces and support atmospheres. ...

At last, how many alien civilizations are there?

During the space age, 1961 was a special year: the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit Earth, while the American astronomer Frank Drake developed the now famous Drake Equation. This equation estimates ...

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