The Hitchhiker's Guide to Exoplanets and Alien Life I NOVA Now Universe Revealed

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If television shows and movies are any indication, we humans spend a lot of our time subconsciously preparing for UFOs carrying maleficent aliens to descend on Earth.

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But should we rush to create an intergalactic battle plan? In actuality, finding otherworldly life won’t be so easy (or, hopefully, so dangerous). Already, astronomers and other scientists are using a multitude of techniques to search for planets outside our solar system and any signs of life they carry. With 4,500 exoplanets identified out of what could be hundreds of billions in our galaxy alone, one thing is becoming clear: If we find extraterrestrial life, it likely won’t be anything like Hollywood has imagined.

Hearing from two exoplanet experts about the diversity of planets and life in the Milky Way, Dr. Alok Patel learns that Earth is incredibly unique—and surprisingly mundane.

NOVA Now Universe Revealed is a production of GBH and PRX. It’s produced by:
Terence Bernardo
Jennie Cataldo
Ari Daniel
Caitlin Faulds
Jocelyn Gonzales

Julia Cort and Chris Schmidt are the co-Executive Producers of NOVA
Sukee Bennett is Senior Digital Editor
Christina Monnen is Associate Researcher
Robin Kazmier is Science Editor
Robert Boyd is Digital Associate Producer
Shyla Duff is Digital Video Intern
And Devin Maverick Robins is Managing Producer of Podcasts at GBH

Thanks to our guests Hakeem Oluseyi, author of A Quantum Life, and Dennis Whyte, director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

© WGBH Educational Foundation 2021
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