Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies

February 7, 2014

An assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, Jason Wright is well known to the Centauri Dreams community because of his continuing work on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence through detection of its waste heat rather than directed communication. The discipline widely known as Dysonian SETI is receiving more and more attention, and […]

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A Gaseous, Earth-Mass Transiting Planet

January 6, 2014

Search for one thing and you may run into something just as interesting in another direction. That has been true in the study of exoplanets for some time now, where surprises are the order of the day. Today David Kipping (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) addressed the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington […]

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Living at a Time of Post Natural Ecologies

January 3, 2014

When technologies converge from rapidly fermenting disciplines like biology, information science and nanotech, the results become hard to predict. Singularities can emerge that create outcomes we cannot always anticipate. Rachel Armstrong explores this phenomenon in today’s essay, a look at emerging meta-technologies that are themselves life-like in their workings. The prospects for new forms of […]

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Alien Civilisations: Two Competing Models

September 18, 2013

by Stephen Ashworth Being a jazz buff (the 1950s and early 1960s are my era of choice) I naturally note that frequent Centauri Dreams commenter and contributor Stephen Ashworth is a tenor sax man who regularly plays in venues near and around Oxford in the UK. Stephen is also, of course, an insightful writer on […]

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Earthbound Tests for Titan Lake Lander

August 13, 2013

As we saw last week, touching down on Europa is going to be a tricky maneuver, at least based on the surface mapping we have so far, where boulders show up all the way down to the limits of resolution. That’s why we need better imagery from the moon, a major motivation for the proposed […]

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Civilizations Beyond Earth: A Different Angle

June 3, 2013

What kind of assumptions do we bring to SETI, and how are those assumptions changing? Tau Zero’s Larry Klaes has some thoughts on that, along with suggestions about what a new book on the subject may want to include in its second edition. By Larry Klaes SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has traditionally operated […]

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Stars for JWST

May 1, 2013

Red dwarfs or brown? The question relates to finding targets as the James Webb Space Telescope gets closer to launch. We’re going to want to have a well defined target list so that the JWST can be put to work right away, and part of that effort means finding candidate planets the telescope can probe. […]

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Bostrom: From Extinction to Transcendence

February 27, 2013

At the top of my list of people I’d someday like to have a long conversation with is Nick Bostrom, a philosopher and director of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute. As Centauri Dreams readers will likely know, Bostrom has been thinking about the issue of human extinction for a long time, his ideas playing interestingly […]

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Starships of the Mind

February 22, 2013

Michael Michaud wrote the essay that follows back in 1978 for a now-defunct magazine that never published it. In recent correspondence about Daedalus designer Alan Bond, Michael referred to the essay and I asked him to forward a copy, which had also passed through the hands of Freeman Dyson and Bob Forward not long after […]

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Exomoons: A Direct Imaging Possibility

November 9, 2012

It’s good to see that David Kipping’s work on exomoons is back in the popular press in the form of A Harvest of New Moons, an article in The Economist. Based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Kipping’s Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) culls Kepler data and massages the information, looking for the tug […]

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