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How Can We Find Alien Life?
Topic: Alien Life
At the Astrobiology Science Conference last March, Astrobiology Magazine organized a debate about alien life. In the final part of this seven-part series, Astrobiology Magazine´s Henry Bortman asks how we should search for life "as we don´t know it."

Searching for Pale Blue Dots
Topic: Alien Life
A recent photo from the Cassini spacecraft shows the mighty planet Saturn, but if you look very closely between its rings, you'll see a faint pinprick of light. That tiny dot is Earth, bustling with life as we know it. One of the fundamental goals of astrobiology is to find another "pale blue dot" like Earth in a planetary system.

Habitable Planet Signposts
Topic: Alien Life
It is only a matter of time before astronomers find an Earth-sized planet orbiting a distant star. When they do, the first questions people will ask are: Is it habitable? And even more importantly, is there life present on it already? For clues to the answers, scientists are looking to their home planet, Earth.

This Easter Island Earth
Topic: Alien Life
In an ongoing tour of literature related to astrobiology, Linda Sauter reviews "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. While not overtly about astrobiology, "Collapse" can provide insights about the likely development of life and civilizations in the universe.

Handful of Habstars
Topic: Alien Life
In the search for life on other worlds, scientists can listen for radio transmissions from stellar neighborhoods where intelligent civilizations might lurk or they can try to actually spot planets like our own in habitable zones around nearby stars. Either approach is tricky and relies on choosing the right targets for scrutiny out of the many thousands of nearby stars in our galactic neighborhood.

Defining Life
Topic: Alien Life
For scientists eying distant planets and solar systems for signs of alien activity, University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Carol Cleland suggests the first order of business is to keep an open mind.

Definindo Vida
Topic: Alien Life
Para cientistas visando planetas distantes e sistemas solares a procura de sinais de atividade alienígena, a Professora Carol Cleland da Universidade do Colorado de Boulder sugere que a primeira ordem da profissão é manter uma mente aberta.

SETI and the Cosmic Quarantine Hypothesis
Topic: Alien Life
How many technically advanced civilizations exist in our galaxy? With this essay by Steven Soter, Scientist-in-Residence in the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University, Astrobiology Magazine initiates the first in a series of 'Gedanken', or thought, experiments - musings by noted scientists on scientific mysteries in a series of "what if" scenarios.

M Dwarfs: The Search for Life is On
Topic: Alien Life
M-dwarf stars, much smaller, dimmer and cooler than stars like our sun, are by far the most common type of star in our galaxy. Yet scientists searching for life on other worlds have not shown much interest in M dwarfs. That's about to change.

Ticking Oxygen Clocks
Topic: Alien Life
Does life exist on other planets? An atmosphere rich in oxygen is the most likely source of energy for complex life to exist anywhere in the Universe.

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