Scientists identify 24 planets potentially better suited for life than Earth

The study identified superhabitable planets outside of our solar system.

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  • The odds are that if Earth had the right conditions for the development of life, other places probably do, too.
  • Scientists have identified two dozen planets that match some items on the list of desirable traits.
  • All of these planets are too far away to reach with current tech, but may be valuable research targets.
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Venus' clouds may harbor 'aerial' aliens, MIT scientists say

Scientists have detected within the Venusian atmosphere a chemical known to be a byproduct of life.

NASA
  • A team of researchers has detected significant amounts of phosphine within the cloud deck of Venus.
  • Computer simulations suggest that the amount of phosphine in the Venusian atmosphere couldn't have been produced by known inorganic processes.
  • The findings aren't conclusive evidence of alien life, but they do suggest Venus shouldn't be overlooked in the search for alien life.
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NASA scientists propose sending a submarine to explore Titan's seas

The mission could launch as soon as the 2030s, the researchers said.

  • A team of scientists have been developing a proposal that would send a semi-autonomous submarine to explore the seas of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
  • Titan is the only body in our solar system that has large bodies of liquid on its surface.
  • It's also a top candidate in the search for alien life.
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Mars colony: Humanity's greatest quest

Just how close are we to setting up camp on another planet? It's complicated.

  • We are closer than ever to actually putting human beings on Mars, but exactly how close is very much still up for debate. Getting there is one thing, and we eventually may not have a choice, but there are a number of problems that need to be solved before our species can call the Red Planet home.
  • In this video, former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, educator Bill Nye, science journalist Stephen Petranek, astronomer Michelle Thaller, and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku consider mankind's fascination with Mars and explain why the planet may be the most viable option for colonization. They also share difficult truths about what it will take for this expensive dream to become a reality.
  • From finding a way to protect against radiation and adjusting to the difference in atmospheric pressure, to mining for ice and transporting food, to significantly lowering the cost of space travel, it certainly won't be easy. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth doing. As Leland Melvin says, the spirit of exploration and curiosity is in our DNA.

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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