False fossils could hamper search for life on Mars

If you’re an interplanetary alien hunter scouring the red expanses of Mars for signs of life, you’re more likely to come across microbes than little green men. You’re even more likely to come across fossils of ancient critters that lived billions of years ago. But new research warns that chemical processes can create “pseudofossils”, potentially … Continue reading False fossils could hamper search for life on Mars

New class of exoplanet could put search for ET into hyper-drive

Astronomers have identified a new class of exoplanet they believe could be a candidate for the search for extra-terrestrial life, according to a new study in The Astrophysical Journal. Traditionally, the search for extra-terrestrial life has focused on the terrestrial: looking for other “Earths” with similar dimensions and conditions. The planets in question, however, dubbed … Continue reading New class of exoplanet could put search for ET into hyper-drive

Is anybody down there?

The question of whether or not we are alone in the Universe has always fascinated me, but when I was a student the idea of searching for aliens was regarded as decidedly crackpot. One might as well have professed an interest in looking for fairies. The prevailing scientific opinion in the 1970s was well captured … Continue reading Is anybody down there?