The Rare Earth hypothesis

Ever since the pioneering work of Frank Drake (1930-) in 1960, astronomers have been looking for radio signals from extraterrestrial civilisations and have failed to find anything. This could be because Earth-like planets containing complex life forms (such as ourselves) are rare in the Universe and only a series of highly improbable events led to the… Continue reading The Rare Earth hypothesis

The zoo hypothesis

This post is about the zoo hypothesis, a term coined in 1973 by the astronomer John Ball, but the idea had been in existence for decades before then.  The zoo hypothesis states that there are many advanced and intelligent alien civilisations out there, but they hide their existence from us so that they they do not interfere with our… Continue reading The zoo hypothesis

Life in our galaxy?

With the recent discovery of three planets orbiting the red dwarf star Trappist-1 which have a similar size, mass and average surface temperature as the Earth, there has been considerable speculation as to whether one or more of these planets supports life. What the surface of Trappist 1f, one of the planets orbiting Trappist 1, might look… Continue reading Life in our galaxy?

Breaking news!

News is just reaching us of the most amazing astronomical discovery which I am ever likely to experience in my lifetime, one which I never thought I would see.  As regular followers of this blog will know, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute has been searching for evidence of life in the universe by looking for some… Continue reading Breaking news!

SETI

As I discussed in my last post, the search for signs of extraterrestrial life has caught the interest of many people for a very long time, and the specific search for signals from other life forms has been a particular source of fascination over the last 50 years. In the 1997 movie Contact Jodie Foster's… Continue reading SETI

Is There Anyone Out There ?

As a child I was fascinated by the idea of people from Earth encountering alien lifeforms. I was an avid watcher of Star Trek and the British science fiction TV shows Dr Who and Blake's 7.  I am not alone in my fascination - the idea of humans making contact with intelligent aliens from other planets has intrigued… Continue reading Is There Anyone Out There ?