Frank Drake and the Drake equation

I was saddened to find out about the recent death, at the age of 92, of Frank Drake, one of the pioneers of SETI. One of the things he is most famous for is the equation bearing his name which estimates the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy, the Drake equation. As a tribute… Continue reading Frank Drake and the Drake equation

Reasons for the Great Silence

In recent years there has been an increase in interest in SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).  SETI now has its own telescope, an array of 42 separate radio dishes known as the Allen Telescope Array.   The Allen Telescope Array In 2016 the Breakthrough Listen programme started and is expected to run for ten… Continue reading Reasons for the Great Silence

An amazing discovery

For those who missed my post on 1 April 2016 here is a re-blog of the amazing discovery of the first intelligent alien life. ---Original post below News is just reaching us of the most amazing astronomical discovery which I am ever likely to experience in my lifetime, one which I never thought I would see.  As regular… Continue reading An amazing discovery

Methane on Mars

I was very excited to read about the discovery published last week by NASA’s Curiosity rover of the seasonal variation in the amount of methane in Mars’ atmosphere. Curiosity found that the average methane concentration varied from 0.24 parts per billion (ppb) in the northern hemisphere winter to around 0.65 ppb in the summer. This… Continue reading Methane on Mars

The Rare Earth hypothesis

Ever since the pioneering work of Frank Drake (1930-) in 1960, astronomers have been looking for radio signals from extraterrestrial civilisations and have failed to find anything. This could be because Earth-like planets containing complex life forms (such as ourselves) are rare in the Universe and only a series of highly improbable events led to the… Continue reading The Rare Earth hypothesis