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Guides: Aliens

Last Updated: Monday June 27 2005 15:30 GMT

What are we doing to find aliens?

Do aliens look like this? Or like us?
The search is taking us deeper into space.

So far, more than 100 planets have been spotted among these stars - although none of them look like a good place to find aliens.

Beagle 2 was the first British-led mission to Mars. It was supposed to be looking for signs of aliens.

The Beagle probe should have landed on Mars in 2003, but vanished without a trace.

It's thought Beagle went wrong because Mars' atmosphere was thinner than expected, meaning it didn't slow down enough for a safe landing.

But if there are any aliens out there, a space program called SETI - Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence - hopes to be the first to know using telescopes.

Our chances of picking up signs of aliens are about to improve - SETI is building 350 new telescopes to scan more stars than ever.

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