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“As all regions below are replenished with living creatures... so may the heavens above be replenished with beings whose nature we do not understand.” – Sir Isaac Newton

We all want to believe that there are other intelligent, technologically-advanced civilizations somewhere in our galaxy. Considering the Milky Way contains 100-400 billion stars and trillions of planets, it would seem inevitable that life should have arisen somewhere else; it would be arguably more shocking if humanity was revealed to be alone in the Universe. And while projects like the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence or SETI, which has been listening for alien signals for nearly half a century, have yet to detect an artificial signal from another planet, reports of strange aerial craft and “close encounters” continue to be reported all over the world. Although most sightings can be attributed to misidentification, about 5 percent have no conventional explanation.

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[DIGEST: IFL Science, New Atlas, Science Alert, The Guardian,]

Disgruntled nationals looking to escape their native countries may soon have a new option: space.

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[DIGEST: Observer, ABC]

Researchers with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Program (SETI) are investigating signal spikes emitting from a star in the constellation Hercules. The star, an estimated 6.3 billion years old, is 95 light years from Earth––about 500 trillion miles away. "We are talking about a message that left its star in 1920 and finally arrived in Russia in 2015," said Doug Vakoch, Ph.D., who works with METI International, a group that focuses on messaging extraterrestrial intelligence.

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