1. Astronomers Margaret Turnbull and Jill Tarter of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., have compiled a list of 17,129 nearby stars most likely to have planets that could support complex life.
2. Astronomer Frank Drake made the first scientific attempt to contact alien beings in 1960, when he used an 85-foot radio dish at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia to listen for signals from two nearby sunlike stars.
3. The more sophisticated efforts of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, haven't fared any better. Since 1995, this privately funded project has scanned more than 1,000 stars, at a cost of $5 million a year, for alien radio squeaks.
4. Download software from the SETI@home project to sift for alien signals on your home PC. 187,000 other people have.
5. Most likely spots for alien life in our solar system: underground refuges on Mars, hot spots on Saturn's moon Enceladus (whose south pole is dotted with geysers), and Jupiter's moons Europa and Callisto (whose icy crusts may conceal vast, underlying oceans of water).
7. In a 2003 Harvard study, seven of 10 self-professed abductees stated under hypnosis that they had been used for breeding or sexual experiments by their alien captors.
8. Allan Cheyne, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, says that those who believe they've been abducted by aliens are often prone to experience sleep paralysis.
9. In space, no one can hear you sneeze: Streptococcus mitis, a bacterium that infects the nose and throat, was inadvertently sent to the moon aboard the Surveyor 3 probe. The bugs were still alive when Apollo 12 astronauts retrieved the probe's camera two and a half years later.
10. On September 30, 2006, the French Center for National Space Studies beamed Cosmic Connexion, a TV program aimed at extraterrestrials, at a sunlike star called Errai 45 light-years from Earth. The video should reach them in 2051.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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