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Our Galaxy Might Be Teeming With Habitable Exomoons

There are eight planets in our Solar System (sorry Pluto), but collectively, these planets host over 175 moons, one or two of which may even harbour life. Indeed, our galaxy, based on what we observe here, could be bursting with exomoons, a significant number of which may be capable of fostering life, according to new a new study. Read More >>

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Intense Gravity of Super-Earths Could Trap Aliens on Their Home Planet

Rocky worlds larger than Earth are commonplace in the galaxy, and a few of them may even be habitable. Which poses an interesting question: How difficult would it be for aliens living on these super-Earths to launch rockets into space, given the tremendous gravity? According to new research, it would be difficult to the point of impossibility—meaning that some aliens may be perpetually trapped on their home worlds. Read More >>

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Canadian Scientists Discover Freakishly Salty Lakes Hidden Under Giant Glacier

Researchers working in the Canadian high north have discovered two super-salty lakes buried deep beneath the Arctic ice. Untouched for thousands of years, the subglacial lakes may provide a tantalising glimpse into the kinds of alien life that might exist on Europa and Enceladus, two ice-covered moons in the far reaches of our Solar System. Read More >>

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Experiment Shows Microbes Could Thrive on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

Enceladus is one of the most fascinating objects in the Solar System. Parked in orbit around Saturn, the ice-covered moon features a warm subterranean ocean and the basic chemical ingredients for life. But could alien microbes actually survive there? A new experiment suggests the answer is yes. Read More >>

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TRAPPIST-1 Star System Contains Two Potentially Habitable Planets, New Study Suggests

It’s been less than a year since astronomers detected seven planets around TRAPPIST-1, a remarkable star system located 39 light years from Earth. New research suggests life could take root on at least two of these planets, thanks to a fortuitous orbital quirk. But other scientists aren’t so sure, saying TRAPPIST-1 still has much going against it in terms of its ability to foster life. Read More >>

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Our Universe Could be Littered With Alien Viruses — and We Should be Looking for Them

It’s generally agreed that some kind of microbe will be the first form of life we discover on another planet, moon, or other space rock. But hardly anyone thinks we’ll find an alien virus, which is weird, given how prolific and successful these biological entities are on Earth. A new study seeks to correct this oversight, calling for an entirely new discipline known as “astrovirology.” Read More >>

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How Aliens We’ve Never Met Could Help Humanity Escape Self-Destruction

Humans have had such a dramatic impact on Earth that some scientists say we’ve kickstarted a new geological era known as the Anthropocene. A fascinating new paper theorises that alien civilisations could do the same thing, reshaping their homeworlds in predictable and potentially detectable ways. The authors are proposing a new classification scheme that measures the degree to which planets have been modified by intelligent hosts. Read More >>

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Hubble Observations Suggest Water May Be Abundant on Outer TRAPPIST-1 Planets

From the moment that seven Earth-sized planets were discovered in orbit around TRAPPIST-1—an ultracool dwarf star located 39 light years away—astronomers have been busy trying to learn everything they can about this intriguing star system, particularly its potential to foster life. Recently, an international team of scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to assess the chances of water existing on these planets—and the results are promising. Read More >>

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Massive Tides Could Boost TRAPPIST-1’s Prospects For Life

Earlier this year, Earthlings rejoiced when scientists announced the discovery of three rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of TRAPPIST-1, an “ultracool dwarf” star located just 39 light years away. Soon after, astronomers brought us back down Earth, pointing out that it might be hard for life to survive on a world in such a tight orbit around such a dim star. But the debate has now taken yet another delicious twist, this time, in favour of aliens. Read More >>

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Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Has Toxic Booze on its Breath

You think you have it rough because you spent the weekend eating tequila-soaked watermelon? That’s Juicy Juice compared to what Saturn’s moon Enceladus has been steeping itself in. Astronomers have spotted the organic molecule methanol surrounding the icy moon. Methanol, in case you forgot, is a highly toxic form of alcohol that can literally leave you blind—but after millions of years, we’d wager Enceladus’ tolerance is pretty high. Read More >>

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Will Intelligent Aliens Actually Give a Shit About Us?

With Ridley Scott’s latest instalment in his classic Alien franchise, now’s the perfect time to wildly speculate about extraterrestrials. In Alien: Covenant and so many other movies like it, our cosmic neighbours turn out to be real arseholes. They’re always trying to conquer Earth, or eat humans, or do other weird shit, like hunt Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle. If you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger, this usually ends pretty badly. Read More >>

science
These Flowers Hold Clues to Spreading Life Beyond Earth

It feels like we’re constantly searching for a friend out there in the cosmos, only to be repeatedly disappointed. But what if, in our quest to discover life beyond Earth, we’ve overlooking a more important question? What if the question we should really be asking is, how do we ensure life spreads beyond Earth? Read More >>

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Astronomer Wonders If We’ve Looked Hard Enough for Signs of Long Extinct Alien Life

Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus is the latest target in the perennial excitement around finding extraterrestrial life. Its warm subterranean ocean is thought to contain all the right ingredients to harbour alien microbes, which would arguably be the biggest scientific discovery in human history. While finding microbes—even biosignatures on places like Mars—would be incredible, perhaps we’re overlooking something critical in the search for life in our solar system, specifically intelligent life. Take that, tiny microbes. Read More >>

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Most Habitable Earth-Like Planets May Be Waterworlds

Over 70 per cent of our planet is covered in water, and we tend to think that’s a lot. A new study suggests that our world is special in this regard, and that most habitable planets are dominated by oceans that consume over 90 per cent their surface area. That may be good for primitive marine life, but not so good for aspiring civilisations. Read More >>

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More Evidence That Aliens Aren’t Trying to Communicate With Us

Some SETI researchers believe the best way to detect aliens is to search the skies for their laser beams. In the largest survey of its kind, astronomers scanned 5,600 stars in search of these optical signals—and they found...absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. Here’s what that means to SETI and the ongoing hunt for alien intelligence. Read More >>