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Super Earths Found Circling Ancient Star

A habitable-zone planet circles a nearby star zipping past our solar system.

Where are the Aliens? Interview With a SETI Researcher

Yesterday the internet was abuzz with talk about UFOs and the Roswell incident, which took place 66 years ago this week. Discovering life beyond Earth has always been considered by some to be the holy grail of science. However, no little green men or even measly microbes have been conclusively found. But this hasn’t dampened…

Google Doodle Marks Famous Roswell Anniversary

Whether you are a skeptic or a believer in the existence of aliens, you’ve got to love today’s new Google doodle honoring what is arguably the prototype for all modern-day UFO and alien cover-up conspiracy theories. Sixty-six years ago today, witnesses near Roswell, New Mexico reported seeing flying saucers and a suspicious crash scene, complete…

December 16, 2012: Fending Off Polar Bears, Taking Photos in Underwater Caves, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we fend off polar bear attacks in Canada, search for life inside of our solar system, unburden our souls with Mongolian shamans, climb Yosemite’s El Capitan for science, dive deep into underwater caves to take pictures, survive whiteout training for expeditions to the earth’s poles, introduce a child from a remote Cambodian village to the entire world, and give girls in Kenya an opportunity.

Looking for Life on Europa

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kevin Hand is looking for alien life on Jupiter’s fourth largest moon. Listen to his interview with Boyd Matson.

Carnival of Space #170

Welcome, ladies and gents, to this week’s Carnival of Space, the 170th performance of a spectacular show filled with thrills, chills, and amazements! —Image by Victoria Jaggard This is my debut as host of the Carnival here at Breaking Orbit, but I’m no First of May when it comes to showcasing the wonders the cosmos…

Voyager 2 Speaking in Code

NASA may have to bust out an Enigma Machine to figure out what’s going on with the Voyager 2 probe, the second most distant human-made object in space. Yesterday mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena announced that the craft recently started sending back science data in a format no one on Earth…

Hawking Says, Don’t Phone ET; NASA Says, Too Late

By Ker Than “Thanks, but no thanks.” That was the gist of NASA’s response to advice from famed British physicist Stephen Hawking that humanity should stop trying to attract the attention of aliens, some of whom could be hostile to us Earthlings. Hawking issued his warning during an episode of the Discovery Channel series “Into…

Making Babies in Space

Alien cultures might be happy to know that if we humans ever do start colonizing the universe, we may have a few problems going forth and multiplying. A team of Japanese scientists has found that microgravity significantly lowers the birth rate in mammals, based on their study of mice embryos subjected to space-like conditions in…

Why Does Venus Glow in the Dark? Just Say NO

Right now people in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying the last few weeks when Venus will shine bright in the night. Around the end of March the “evening star” becomes the “morning star,” and the planet won’t grace the dusk skies again until next year. (Read more at EarthSky to find out why Venus makes…

Another Flyby! This Time It’s Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

Even as sharp new pictures continue to flow in from the recent MESSENGER flyby past Mercury, the folks over at the Cassini-Hyugens program are conducing their own close encounter with Saturn‘s icy moon Enceladus. —Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute This afternoon the Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach yet to the wrinkly-faced moon—a trip that…