Tagged: Extraterrestrial life

Colonising Mars means contaminating Mars – and never knowing for sure if it had its own native life - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 20, 2018

David Weintraub, Vanderbilt University The closest place in the universe where extraterrestrial life might exist is Mars, and human beings are poised to attempt to colonise this planetary neighbour within the next decade. Before that happens, we need to recognise that a very real possibility exists that the first human steps on the Martian surface will lead … Read More

If we ever came across aliens, would we be able to understand them? - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 29, 2016

James Carney, Lancaster University Many scientists believe that alien civilisations exist. For them, the question is now whether we will encounter them in the near future or a very long time from now, rather than if at all. So let’s imagine that we suddenly stand face-to-face with members of an alien species. What would we do … Read More

Saturn’s moons may be younger than the dinosaurs – so could life really exist there? - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 30, 2016

David Rothery, The Open University Saturn is home to more than 60 moons – from the massive Titan and the crater-riddled Phoebe, to Enceladus with its geysers. Enceladus in particular has been put forward as a good candidate for harbouring microbial life, thanks to its warm internal ocean. After all, if intelligent life … Read More

Could life on an exoplanet spread to its neighbour? - Guest Work

Guest Author Dec 04, 2015

David Rothery, The Open University Imagine two nearby exoplanets orbiting the same sun, each with its own indigenous civilisation. They’re going through history either as companionable neighbours or deadly rivals. This is a familiar situation in science fiction, but could it ever happen? With the rapidly growing number of habitable exoplanets being discovered, this scenario may seem … Read More