UFO Buster Radio News – 300: Alien Life Possible Far From Earth and SETI Hits 35

Manny/ November 19, 2019/ From Manny

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The closest star system to the Earth is the famous Alpha Centauri group. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has given us this stunning view of the bright Alpha Centauri A (on the left) and Alpha Centauri B.

ALIEN LIFE COULD BE MORE COMMON THAN WE THOUGHT, SCIENTISTS SAY
Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/alien-life-star-system-where-find-exoplanets-planets-worlds-science-space-a9208996.html

But extraterrestrial beings likely to habit very different star systems, very far away, researchers say

Alien life could be more common than we thought, according to scientists.

But any extraterrestrial life out in the universe is likely to inhabit a very different star system, very far away, the researchers conclude.

The new study looked at a theoretical twin of Earth and explored how it might fit in with a binary star system. Unlike our own solar system, such places have planets that revolve around two stars.

They found out that in 87 per cent of cases, those planets should be tilted similarly to Earth. That in turn is thought to be an ingredient for a climate that favours the birth of complex life, like ourselves or aliens.

“Multiple-star systems are common, and about 50% of stars have binary companion stars. So, this study can be applied to a large number of solar systems,” said Gongjie Li, the study’s co-investigator an assistant professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Physics, in a statement.

The researchers began by examining how the Earth’s tilt compares with Mars’ tilt. They found that our relatively mild changes in tilt help make Earth a great place for life to begin and thrive, whereas the much more extreme variations on Mars helped destroy its atmosphere.

They then looked at how the Earth might get on if it were situated in the system known as Alpha Centauri AB (Distance to Earth: 4.367 light years), which is our solar system’s next-door neighbour, and is a binary system made up of two stars known as “A” and “B”. The news was pessimistic in that system, offering bad news for those who plan to send a space probe to the system in the hope of finding alien life.

“We simulated what it would be like around other binaries with multiple variations of the stars’ masses, orbital qualities, and so on,” said Billy Quarles, the study’s principal investigator and a research scientist in Li’s lab. “The overall message was positive but not for our nearest neighbour.”

The new study, ‘Obliquity Evolution of Circumstellar Planets in Sun-like Stellar Binaries’, is published in the Astrophysical Journal today. It is was funded by Nasa’s Exobiology Program.

Thirty-Five Years On, the Search for Aliens Continues
Link: https://www.insidescience.org/news/thirty-five-years-search-aliens-continues

The SETI Institute leads the hunt for extraterrestrials, which has entered a new phase with myriad planets to focus on.

The likelihood that SETI will one day detect a signal from intelligent aliens is captured in part by the Drake equation, introduced by astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake in the 1960s. It describes the chances of there being an inhabited planet with lifeforms with whom we could communicate. In essence, the equation considers how many planets there are around the stars in the galaxy, and out of those planets, how many could support life, whether intelligent life evolves from that, and whether those lifeforms are sociable enough and their planet close enough to Earth to send us messages.

If distant aliens want to contact Earth, there is a dedicated team of scientists ready to take the call. For 35 years, the SETI Institute, named after the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, has been the world’s only research organization systematically scanning the heavens for signs of otherworldly life.

The institute, which was founded in Mountain View, California on Nov. 20, 1984, has had its downs and ups, from a loss of NASA funding in 1993 to the construction of the Allen Telescope Array, which began collecting radio data in 2007. It now includes 100 scientists among its ranks, with many of them not only listening to the heavens, but also investigating what kinds of worlds might be friendly to life.

“We want to look at all the sky, all the time,” said Jill Tarter, co-founder of the institute.

In the Milky Way, there are more planets than stars.

Now that it’s clear planets are so abundant and diverse, scientists at SETI want to figure out which ones have a chance of hosting life. “The big change has been a shift in emphasis toward astrobiology. Today, the majority of scientists here are [studying] life in space, like on Mars, Enceladus, Europa,” and elsewhere, said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute.

“We want to look at all the sky, all the time,” said Jill Tarter, co-founder of the institute.

Tarter also thinks of SETI as a long-term project. “You don’t get out of bed every morning and say, today’s the day I’m going to find a signal. But you do get out of bed saying, I’m going to do something today to improve our capability of searching, to make our search better.”

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