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Planets and exoplanets of unexplored galaxies. Sci-Fi. New worlds to discover. Colonization and exploration of nebulae and galaxies

News From the Search for Extraterrestrial Life 9

NASA is readying a set of eight instruments for the Ocean Worlds Life Surveyor to search for life on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus

In our universe The universe (as much of we know of it) has now been mapped: With 56,000 galaxies, there wold be, in principle, many places to look for life: “Galaxies, such as the Milky Way, are the building blocks of the universe, each comprised of up to several hundred billion stars.” – Phys.org A big barrier to exploration is, of course, the speed of light; most galaxies are many light years away and nothing moves faster than light. Incidentally, a group of astronomers recently claimed to have detected matter exceeding the speed of light. We asked theoretical physicist Rob Sheldon about that and he replied, “No, it isn’t going faster than the speed of light. Most superluminal objects are Read More ›

alien planet landscape, beautiful forest the surface of an exoplanet

NASA Develops a Scale for Assessing the Chances of ET Life

We’ve come a long way from mere snatches of (maybe) information to the need for standards in evaluating the expected incoming mass

Geoscientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch, co-author with William Bains of The Cosmic Zoo (2017) and a number of other books on planetary habitability, thinks science needs standardized scales for assessing claims about extraterrestrial life. There are lots of claims: life on Mars detected by the Viking landers (1976), fossil life in a Mars-origin meteorite (1996), phosphine on Venus (2020) … all have some evidence in their favor. But scientists need a way to express degrees of certainty. Recently, NASA has proposed the Confidence of Life Detection Scale (CoLD), featuring seven benchmarks. The main problem is that evidence that might suggest life could just as easily be a non-biological process: Consider Jupiter’s moon Europa. A large asteroid impact could have volatilized ice on Read More ›

Close encounters of the third kind. Unidentified objects coming from space. Contact with extraterrestrials UFO.

NASA Seeks Standards for ET Life Claims

The agency wants to develop a credibility scale so we know what to pay attention to

What with everything from Oumuamua to phosphine on Venus claiming our attention, NASA thinks it’s time to develop some standards for what constitutes a credible claim about extraterrestrial life: “The discovery of a potential biosignature in [a planet’s] atmosphere is important, but it’s just the start,” said Green in an interview. “You have to examine potential false positives, whether there are [non-biological] ways to form the chemical, whether the measurement is an artifact of your instrument, whether the environment on the planet is conducive or hostile to life, whether water is present.” Applying such a chain of reasoning could result in a kind of credibility scale for the general public to turn to when they read about new results in Read More ›