With the ingredients for life found everywhere we look, it seems that the odds are astronomically low that it’s just us out there in the Universe. (Jenny Mottar)

New Podcast: Humanity’s 3 Hopes For Alien Life

There really should be life out there beyond Earth. Here’s how we’ll find it.


There are three very different ways humanity is searching for alien life beyond Earth. We can directly search the various planets and moons in our Solar System for past or present biological signatures simply by sending decontaminated probes, and looking for the evidence in situ. We can indirectly look at distant worlds around other stars, searching for the characteristic changes to the atmosphere and surface that life would bring. And, most optimistically, we can search for intelligent signatures created, perhaps willfully, by a technologically advanced alien species. These are our three hopes for finding alien life, and we’re actively pursuing all three.

Here’s how the different searches work, along with some speculation about what we’re likely to find, and what motivates us to look!


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