“It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.” At least, that’s what some scientists think our first encounter with aliens will be like. Others are certain that extraterrestrial life would be just like us, intelligent, although probably vastly different in appearance.
So, in issue 9 of All About Space (available from all good newsagents, the Imagine Shop and Great Digital Mags), we tracked down the five most important people in the fields of robotic exploration, signal detection and planet hunting from NASA and SETI who are trying to find life elsewhere in the cosmos. They’re convinced we are not alone in the universe and they’re aiming to prove it, one way or another. In our fantastic Search For Life article, they tell us how they plan to do it.
Carrying on the Star Trek theme, will we ever truly be able to travel through space and visit distant planets and stars? Author Giles Sparrow investigates how close the science of faster than light travel is to the stuff of science fiction in our aptly named Faster Than Light article.
Next up this issue we pay homage to the amazing achievements that have shaped humanity’s understanding of the universe around us, from water on Mars to the expansion of the universe, in our 10 Greatest Space Discoveries feature.
Elsewhere, in our regular All About… features we’ve finally made it to the edge of the Solar System, and this issue we take a look at our most distant planet in our All About Neptune feature. Don’t fret, though; these features will continue to explain more things in future issues aside from recognised planets.
Lastly, if you enjoyed the BBC’s Stargazing Live in January, then you’ll definitely want to read our interview with presenter Mark Thompson. He gives us his tips on astronomy and reveals how his space career began. Don’t miss this one.
Of course, we’re just scratching the surface here. We’ve also got great articles this issue on gravitational lensing, artificial gravity, colonies on Mars, planet formation and more. So settle down, grab and a copy and enjoy the wonders of the cosmos in issue 9 of All About Space.