"As astronomical techniques become more advanced, a team of astrophysicists think they will be able to not only detect the signatures of alien life in exoplanetary atmospheres, but also track its relentless spread throughout the galaxy.
The research, headed by Henry Lin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), assumes that this feat may be possible in a generation or so and that the hypothesis of panspermia may act as the delivery system for alien biology to hop from one star system to another."
Two members of the Harvard Astronomy faculty (Dimitar Sasselov and Avi Loeb) are signed on the document mentioned below.
"On July 20, a consortium of scientists funded by billionaire investor Yuri Milner announced a $100 million project to scan the universe for signs of intelligent life. Milner, 53, a prescient technology investor, is also a former physicist. The endeavor, named Breakthrough Listen, is being supported by some of the world’s most well-known...
We are very sad to report that our colleague Alex Dalgarno passed away on April 9. Alex was an extraordinary scientist and teacher, who led for decades the application of atomic and molecular physics to astrophysics. He conceived of ITAMP, the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, and led it for many years.
This is further in regard to the sad news about Alex Dalgarno. Alex passed away at 11:25 am on April 9th. Funeral services have been arranged, and may be seen...
Physics World: An Italian bid to host the headquarters of the world’s largest radio telescope has been judged superior to a British proposal – yet it has failed to get the green light. Edwin Cartlidge reports:
Physics World: UK and Italy vie over telescope HQ (pdf)
A Science magazine issued a special issue in March, 2015 which was dedicated to the 100 years anniversary of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a project in which members of the Astronomy department are involved, is mentioned on the last two pages as the final frontier.... Read more about The Dark Lab: Special Issue of Science features EHT
On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Avi opened the academic year's Science Series Public Lecture with an overview of current strategies for identifying evidence of life on other planets in the Milky Way galaxy and beyond. For a summary of the lecture please consult this report in the Harvard Crimson: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/9/24/chair-astronomy-extraterrestrial-life/
"With hundreds of Earth-like planets discovered over the past few years, it’s fair to say we’re on the verge of finding alien life. Two new programs at NASA hope to find and analyze thousands more of these exoplanets, as they’re called. Scientists working on the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope say there’s a very real chance of finding extraterrestrial life within the next two decades. So, if we’re about to meet our extraterrestrial neighbors, let’s get to work on some opening lines. What if we’re really not...
"Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs?"