An Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a nearby star

Until about a decade ago, only two habitable zone planets of any size were known to astronomers: Earth and Mars.

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A few months ago a group of NASA exoplanet astronomers, who are in the business of discovering planets around other stars, called me into a secret meeting to tell me about a planet that had captured their interest.

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Could invisible aliens really exist among us? An astrobiologist explains

The intelligent life we are searching for doesn't have to be humanoid.

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Life is pretty easy to recognise. It moves, it grows, it eats, it excretes, it reproduces.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Scientists’ brains are wired to see differently

Scientists are expert observers. Because of this, they can help us develop a keener view of the world — the cosmos.

  • There are many people who have discomfort engaging with a scientific perspective of the world — for some, for instance, it conflicts with what they were taught during their religious upbringings.
  • We can all gain a greater view of life — the cosmos — by getting to know scientists, especially when we're at an impasse in our lives.
  • Scientists' view of the world retains a "distance" to it — it's observational, fact-driven. This helps with finding consistent principles in nature.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Want to prove aliens exist? Do this.

Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to believe. He just needs to see the evidence first.

  • Are UFOs actually alien spacecraft visiting Earth? They might be, says Neil deGrasse Tyson, but if you want to make that claim you better bring the evidence to support it.
  • Eyewitness testimony is the lowest form of evidence. To measure what is true or not true in the world, we require data -- and when it comes to alien appearances, it's as astronomer Carl Sagan said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
  • So what can you do to prove your alien abduction story? Take selfies, live-stream video to the internet, and if you happen to find yourself in a spacecraft getting your "gonads poked", then grab an item from the alien lab as evidence before they release you back on Earth. Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to believe, but not until he sees the data.
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Top 4 candidates in our solar system for terraforming

When it comes time for humanity to pick a new home, where will we go?

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  • Regardless of whether you think the Earth will suffer some catastrophe or not, most individuals believe that humanity will eventually have to live on another planet.
  • There is no nearby planet that can support human life, however; we'll have to pick a good candidate and terraform it.
  • Each celestial body presents its own unique challenges and requirements. Some need more carbon dioxide, others need less; some would become water worlds, others more Earth-like; and so on.
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