False-color image of Venus taken by Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft in 2018. Is there life in those clouds?

How To Announce the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life (and Be Taken Seriously)

Proposed new guidelines could be helpful, or they could be a form of scientific censorship.

The alien in E.T. seemed spiritual enough.  Might we have something in common?

The Science of Aliens, Part 6: Would They Be Religious?

Belief in a higher power is widespread on Earth, but what about the rest of the galaxy?

Let’s keep it clean: NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter had to scrub down before heading to Mars.

Planetary Protection Rules for Mars Could be Relaxed

But spacecraft searching for life will still have to be sterilized.

This year's meeting was held at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Highlights from the German Astrobiological Society Meeting

The first major face-to-face get-together in almost two years.

The Venus Flytrap isn't the only meat-eating plant.

On Alien Worlds, Some of the Plants Might Want to Eat You (If You’re a Bug)

Especially in environments where there’s not much else to eat.

Amy Adams tries to figure out how to talk to the aliens in the 2016 film Arrival.

The Science of Aliens, Part 5: How Would They Communicate?

Contact with intelligent aliens would happen on their terms, not ours.

Could Neptune-size planets host life?

Hycean Worlds, a “New” Type of Ocean Planet

Only a tiny fraction of them may be habitable, though.

According to the so-called “giant impact” theory, Earth's moon was created when another large body smashed into our planet early in its history. Such collisions may be one way life spreads throughout the galaxy.

The Astrobiological Potential of Rogue Planets

Not only could they hold subsurface life, they may spread it throughout the galaxy.

A Navy aircraft tracks a tiny moving object, referred to as "GOFAST," off the East Coast of the U.S. in 2015.

Perspectives on UAP From Across the Atlantic

Takeaways from a German workshop on mysterious sightings in the sky.

The Trappist-1 system, shown here in an artist's conception, has seven known planets, but only three are thought to be habitable.

Ocean Worlds in the Trappist-1 System

A new evaluation of a nearby star system’s potentially habitable water worlds.

Prasinohaema prehensicauda, a green-blooded skink found in New Guinea.

The Science of Aliens, Part 4: What Color Would Their Blood Be?

Not every animal bleeds red, even on Earth.

An artist's rendering of gaseous plumes emanating from the southern pole of Enceladus.

Methane Detected at Enceladus May Be of Biological Origin

Here we go again: biology or unknown abiotic process?

Radio towers like these, clustered on a hillside in Arlington, Virginia in the 1920s, have been leaking signals into space for decades. Our neighbors could be listening.

Aliens May Already Have Discovered Us

Our planet’s shadow against the Sun could have been seen from thousands of nearby solar systems.

Life could have originated on Mars in an environment like this salt flat in South America's Altiplano region.

Life May Have Been More Likely to Originate on Mars Than on Earth

The environmental setting makes all the difference.

Lions do it. Humans do it. What about extraterrestrials?

The Science of Aliens, Part 3: Have They Overcome Their Savage Past, or Might They Want to Eat Us?

Reviewing our own species’ behavior suggests a cautious approach to contact with extraterrestrials.

The Danakil Depression in northwest Ethiopia has the sulfuric acid-richest environments on Earth.

Living Creatures Need Water. But Could They Make Do With Sulfuric Acid?

New results cast doubt on the presence of life in the Venusian atmosphere.

No, it's not Mars.  It's a field of salt nodules in the Atacama Desert.

Martian Life May Be Hiding in Islands of Habitability

Zeroing in on the best environmental niches to explore during the next mission to Mars.

The DNA that is central to life on our own planet may not be a given in the rest of the universe.

The Science of Aliens, Part 2: What Kind of Genetic Code Would Extraterrestrials Have?

Alien life would likely have different biochemistry, which may change the way it reproduces.

Sunset on Mars, as seen by the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater. Could this be our ancestral home?

Could We Really All Be Martians?

Considering the likelihood of an exchange of microbes between Earth and Mars.

Our stellar next-door neighbors, Alpha Centauri A (left) and B, shine brightly in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

All Eyes on Alpha Centauri

Takeaways from this week’s Breakthrough Discuss meeting.

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