The “Wow! Reply” – SETI Stunt, Science, or Threat?

A little less than a year ago, the  National Geographic Channel (NatGeo) executed a truly novel crowdsourcing initiative that I feel is deserving of greater critical attention. Hailed by some as innovative public engagement, derided by cynics as mere marketing spectacle, and condemned by others as a threat to our very way of life, hindsight […]

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The Science Behind “Chasing UFOs” – Episode 3

For those who might like to delve more deeply into (or simply know more about the science behind) the National Geographic Channel series “Chasing UFOs,” including infrared tech, fourth-dimensional geometry, and mountain lion predation, look no further! Direct link-through to my article on the NatGeo TV blog can be found here: http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/06/the-science-of-chasing-ufos-alien-cowboys/ Cheers! Ben

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Arsenic-based life and Astrobiology

It’s been some time since the controvertial announcement that “arsenic-based life” had been discovered on planet Earth.  With time, however, the less-sensational reality of the discovery has been made more clear, and I think it is sensible to review the current state of the research as it relates to the biochemistry of life and the idea of […]

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The Science Behind “Chasing UFOs” – Episode 2

For those who might like to delve more deeply into (or simply know more about the science behind) the second episode of National Geographic’s TV series “Chasing UFOs,” including industrial archaeology, cargo cults, radioactive tunnels, and orienteering troubles, check it out! Direct link to my article on the NatGeo TV blog here: http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2012/06/30/the-science-of-chasing-ufos-dirty-secrets/ Cheers! Ben

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Science outreach, crossing the mainstream divide, and “Chasing UFOs”

I know there will be quite a lot on this here at the Astrowright blog in the coming weeks and months, but to begin very briefly, I’m excited to report that I’m set to appear on/host a National Geographic series next month (somewhat sensationally) entitled, “Chasing UFOs.”   The project zeroed in on the “top 5%” – the […]

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Xenoarchaeology: Reality and Fantasy

Cultural Xenoarchaeology For reasons I can’t immediately explain, (the recent rash of technical publications addressing the concept of “xenoarchaeology” or “non-terrestrial artifacts” nonwithstanding,) there is a tantalizing idea cropping up in a number of recent and upcoming films and television programs.  (See: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Prometheus, Ancient Aliens.) This concept, simply, involves the […]

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Xenoarchaeology Critical Mass

Xenoarchaeology Rising 2011 has been a good year for the nascent pursuit of xenoarchaeology as serious science.  After beginning a conversation with a 2010 Viewpoint article I authored in the journal Space Policy, which was intended as a broad, conceptual justification for the further development of xenoarchaeology as a field, I was rewarded with a generally favorable review […]

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Research supports possibility of non-terrestrial artifacts in Solar System

In a professionally-risky but scientifically-admirable move that came as a bit of a shock to me, two Penn State University researchers recently authored a study that claimed, statistically-speaking, that not enough of the planetary surface areas (at sufficient resolution) and volume of the Solar System has yet been surveyed to rule out the presence of what they term “non-terrestrial” […]

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