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Early Attempts to Contact Aliens
Topic: Alien Life
01/29/09
Summary: The idea that we Earthlings may not be alone is not new, nor is the idea of trying to signal our cosmic neighbors. The first era of interplanetary communication began in the 19th century.

Talking About Tides
Topic: Alien Life
01/12/09
Summary: As it orbits a star, a planet can be squeezed and flexed by intense gravitational forces. In this podcast, Brian Jackson explains how this "tidal heating" can help determine whether a planet will have life.

Life on Super-Earths
Topic: Alien Life
12/19/08
Summary: Astronomers are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life to include some very unearthly places. Their theory is that ice-covered super-Earths, which are plentiful in the Universe, could support some kinds of life.

Watching for Wobbles
Topic: Alien Life
12/14/08
Summary: New research may make it easier to detect habitable moons around distant, extrasolar planets. The new method not only identifies moons, but also allows scientists to determine their size and their distance from the host planet.

An Interstellar Mission Scenario
Topic: Alien Life
08/11/08
Summary: Super-Earths, terrestrial planets many times the mass of Earth, have been discovered orbiting distant stars. In this essay, Ray Villard details a possible future expedition to visit one of these alien worlds in order to study the life that could exist there.

First Contact
Topic: Alien Life
08/04/08
Summary: In the past few years, astronomers have discovered super-Earths, terrestrial planets many times the mass of Earth, orbiting distant stars. In this essay, Ray Villard discusses how we could study life forms that may exist on those alien worlds.

Earth: An Alien World
Topic: Alien Life
07/23/08
Summary: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has filmed the moon transiting Earth from 31 million miles away. The event is now being used to develop techniques for studying alien worlds.

Low Frequency Aliens
Topic: Alien Life
06/11/08
Summary: A new type of radio telescope may aid in the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life. The LOFAR telescope could be used to detect signals directed toward Earth, and might even pick up 'leakage radiation' from radio and TV transmitters if they're being used by civilizations around nearby stars.

Searching the Sky for Aliens
Topic: Alien Life
06/08/08
Summary: Plans are being developed to use new technology to search for possible extraterrestrial intelligence. Astronomers will scan a select portion of the sky where the likelihood of detecting signals from other worlds is thought to be more favorable.

Intelligence: A Rare Cosmic Commodity
Topic: Alien Life
04/14/08
Summary: A mathematical model taking into account the limited habitable lifespan of the Earth suggests that four evolutionary steps were required for intelligent life to evolve. If this applies to other worlds, intelligent life may be rare in the universe.

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