Yet that is. As Ian O’Neill desribes on Discovery News:

SETI astronomers have eavesdropped on an alien star system thought to contain two “habitable” worlds in the hope of hearing a radio transmission from an extraterrestrial intelligence.

Sadly, there appears to be no chatty aliens living around the red dwarf star Gliese 581.

In results announced last week by Australian SETI astronomers, of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University in Perth, Gliese 581 was precisely targeted by Australian Long Baseline Array using three radio telescope facilities across Australia. This is the first time the technique of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) has been used to target a specific star in the hunt for extraterrestrials, so although it didn’t turn up any aliens, it is a proof of concept that may prove invaluable for future SETI projects…

Is this where humankind will be living in a couple millenia? In a solar system 600 light years away spins the newly-spotted Kebler 22-b, a rocky planet with oceans covering two-thirds of…

It really is a strange universe out there. Marcus Chown writes in New Scientist: Buried in the flood of data from the Kepler telescope is a planetary system unlike any seen before….

Gliese 581Start your bidding now. Via NatGeo News:

The alien planet Gliese 581g set off a firestorm of controversy earlier this year when astronomers loudly declared it to be the first truly habitable planet found outside our solar system.

One of several planets known to orbit the red dwarf star Gliese 581, the headline-grabbing world was described by one researcher as being “just the right size and just at the right distance [from its star] to have liquid water on the surface.”

Not so fast, other astronomers cried. Are you sure this planet actually exists?

Even at a mere 20 light-years from Earth, Gliese 581g is too far away for us to see it directly. We have to infer its existence based on the planet’s gravitational tugs on its host star.

With the recent discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet, this video from the perspective of alien planet hunter looking at our Solar System is intriguing. Nancy Atkinson writes on Universe Today:

Earth Hunting

We have just begun to try and image distant solar systems around other stars, and hopefully our techniques and technology will improve in the near future so that we can one day find — and take pictures of — planets as small as Earth.

But what if another civilization from a distant star was looking at us? What would they see? A new supercomputer simulation tracking the interactions of thousands of dust grains show what our solar system might look like to alien astronomers searching for planets. It also provides a look back to how our planetary system may have changed and matured over time.