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alien life

Visitor from alien star system wears insulating coat: astronomers

A cigar-shaped rock zooming through our Solar System -- the first object from a foreign star system ever spotted in our midst -- is cloaked in a coat of organic material, astronomers said Monday. Dubbed Oumuamua, Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout", the object was first viewed by telescopes in October. Given its weird trajectory, surprised scientists immediately concluded it was from beyond our own planetary system. Astronomers had long assumed that interstellar objects -- from other star systems -- would be mainly…

Are Earthlings alone? Half of humans believe in alien life

AMSTERDAM: Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the “Star Wars” franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened. On the eve of the release of “The Last Jedi”, researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe “in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe”. An even greater 61 percent said “yes” when asked if they…

Astronomers discover Earth-like planet just 11 light years away

A temperate planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from Earth by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe. A team working with ESO’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the La Silla Observatory in Chile has found that the red dwarf star Ross 128 is orbited by a low-mass exoplanet every 9.9 days. This Earth-sized world is expected to be temperate, with a surface temperature that may also be close to that of the Earth. Ross 128…

Unearthed essay on alien life reveals Churchill the scientist

LONDON: A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill shows Britain's wartime leader was uncannily prescient about the possibility of alien life on planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The 11-page article was drafted on the eve of World War Two in 1939 and updated in the 1950s, decades before astronomers discovered the first extrasolar planets in the 1990s. Yet Churchill pinpointed issues dominating today's debate about extraterrestrial life, proving that the former prime minister "reasoned like a scientist",…