Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
Astronomy 2e

For Further Exploration

Astronomy 2eFor Further Exploration



Barbuzano, J. “The Martian Underground.” Sky & Telescope (January 2020): 34. Discoveries of evidence of subsurface life on Earth and how they may apply to Mars.

Brasch, K. “Searching for Life on Water Worlds.” Astronomy (April 2023): 36. How we might find life on worlds like Europa.

Cable, M. “Looking for Life in the Universe.” Astronomy (January 2021): 46. Short introduction to how we might discover the chemical signs of life.

Eicher, D., et al. “Are We Alone in the Solar System.” Astronomy (September 2019): 22. An issue devoted to the possibilities of life on planets and moons around the Sun.

Horst, S. “Titan’s Veil.” Sky & Telescope (February 2019): 22. What the Cassini/Huygens mission revealed about conditions on Saturn’s giant moon and the possibility of life.

Kring, D. “The Origins of Life on Earth.” Astronomy (January 2021): 43. A brief guide to new ideas in the field.

Palubski, I & Shields, “A. Red Dwarf Habitability Recipe.” Sky & Telescope (August 2019): 34. What kind of life could survive near red dwarf stars.

Rimmer, A. “A Flare for the Dramatic.” Sky & Telescope (December 2022): 34. On how flares and coronal mass ejections affect planets and life around different types of stars, especially red dwarfs.

Rimmer, A. “Building a Better Biosignature.” Sky & Telescope (May 2021): 34. On searching for ways to identify the presence of life, in the laboratory, on Venus and on exoplanets.

Smith, K. “How to Build Aliens in the Lab.” Astronomy (February 2019): 28. On the chemistry of life on Earth and its possibilities on other worlds.

Skuse, B. “Ocean Underworlds.” Sky & Telescope (April 2022): 14. About the large moons that may have an underground ocean, like Europa and Ganymede.


Chandler, D. “The New Search for Alien Intelligence.” Astronomy (September 2013): 28. Review of various ways of finding other civilizations out there, not just radio wave searches.

Hecht, J. “SETI’s Big Boost.” Sky & Telescope (August 2022): 34. Good update on recent SETI projects, radio and other wavelengths, by several groups.

Kuhn, J., et al. “How to Find ET with Infrared Light.” Astronomy (June 2013): 30. On tracking alien civilizations by the heat they put out.

Naeye, R. “How We’ll Find Life in the Universe.” Astronomy (September 2020): 18. Reviews three ways: in situ, exoplanet atmosphere, SETI.

Shostak, S. “Closing in on E.T.” Sky & Telescope (November 2010): 22. Summary of current and proposed efforts to search for intelligent life out there.

Shostak, S. “Searching for Smart Life Around Small Stars” Astronomy (February 2014): 28. Planets and life around red dwarfs.



NASA Astrobiology website: Includes background, history, missions, “ask and astrobiologist” and more. (Check out their astrobiology graphic novels series at:

National Geographic’s Introductory Article:

University of Washington Astrobiology Program: Has basic information and a good list of other websites to explore.


Berkeley SETI Research Center: The University of California group has received a $100 million grant from an Israeli-American billionaire to begin the Breakthrough: Listen project, a major step forward in the number of stars and number of radio channels being searched.

Fermi Paradox: If the Galaxy is teeming with advanced intelligent life, physicist Fermi asked, why is no one visiting us? This is an introduction; the much longer Wikipedia page on this topic ( has more detailed ideas.

Planetary Society: This advocacy group for exploration has several pages devoted to the search for life.

SETI Institute: A key organization in the search for life in the universe; the institute’s website is full of information and videos about both astrobiology and SETI.

Sky & Telescope Magazine SETI Collection: Sky & Telescope magazine, written for beginners, offers good articles on this topic.

The Origins of the Drake Equation, by Frank Drake & Dava Sobel, from Astronomy Beat, April 2010: How the famous equation was born and what it means.

UFO Skeptic Reading list: If you would like to see the perspective of scientists and other skeptical investigators on modern UFO controversies, check out this reading list compiled by one of the textbook’s authors.



Astrobiology: Life Beyond Earth: 2018 Interview with Jill Tarter about how our understanding of life out there has changed over the years (3:07).

Geysers on Enceladus: Cold Faithful: 2008 NASA video with Dr. Torrence Johnson on the Cassini discovery of water geysers coming from Saturn’s small moon (3:11).

Hubble Detects a Water Plume on Europa: 2016 news segment about evidence, but not yet proof for geysers of water on Jupiter’s icy moon (2:05).

Hubble, Exoplanets, and the Search for Life: 2016 progress report on our discovery of exoplanets and the search for biosignatures and techno-signatures (6:20).

Life at the Edge: Life in Extreme Environments on Earth and the Search for Life in the Universe: A video of a 2009 nontechnical lecture by Lynn Rothschild of NASA Ames Research Center (1:31:21).

Making Matter Come Alive: TED talk by inorganic chemist Lee Cronin on pathways toward the origin of life (15:11).

Saturn’s Moon Titan: A World with Rivers, Lakes, and Possibly Even Life: A video of a 2011 talk by Chris McKay of NASA Ames Research Center (1:23:33).


‘Breakthrough: Listen’ Initiative Launch Highlights: In 2015, Yuri Milner donated $100 million over 10 years to ramp up several approaches to SETI; features Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake, and others (5:02).

Carl Sagan on Earth as a Pale Blue Dot: Very moving contemplation, by the noted popularizer of astronomy, about our role in the cosmos; a perfect film during the conclusion of an Astro 101 class (5:34). (Try also the short compilation of his thoughts on our role in the universe. Humility: (4:54)).

Interview with Frank Drake: A 2012 interview conducted by one of the authors of this textbook, all about his career and his thoughts about SETI (44:02).

The Fermi Paradox: and Two cartoon summaries of the problem and proposed solutions explaining “where are all the aliens” (6:16).

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life with New Generation Technology: A briefing in 2020 with Jill Tarter, Andrew Siemion, and Victoria Meadows on how scientists are currently searching for life, including intelligent life.

Why the Search for Alien Intelligence Matters: Jill Tarter: Her eloquent 2009 TED talk, introducing SETI (21:23).

Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 23, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.