Artist's conception of Proxima b orbiting its red dwarf star. Now we know of two planets around Proxima Centauri.

The Closest Solar System to Earth is Even Weirder Than We Thought

But that doesn’t mean the Centauri system harbors life.

Ancient lake sediments in Gale Crater (pictured here by NASA's Curiosity rover) are rich in salts and clays, and so may be a prime location to explore for the possibility of methane-producing archaea in the near subsurface of Mars.

A Biological Solution to the Mystery of Methane on Mars

Under simulated Martian conditions, organisms on Earth can produce this critically important biomarker.

Lake Magadi, a carbonate-rich lake in Kenya, has a bed made of volcanic rock and salty water rich in microbes.

The Phosphate Problem for the Origin of Life May be Solved

And it may help us decide whether to search for life on ocean worlds or lake worlds.

Where'd it go? An image taken in the 1950s (left) shows a large object at center that doesn't appear in an image of the same field taken more recently.

A Stellar Mystery: How Could 100 Stars Just Vanish?

A comparison of old and new star catalogs shows that some objects seem to have gone missing.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Giant Chinese Telescope Joins the Search for Alien Radio Signals

Will it help us find an answer to the Fermi Paradox, or even those puzzling UFOs?

Artist's conception of Taeniolabis, an ancient mammal.

Life Recovers in a Geological Blink of an Eye after an Armageddon Event

The rise of mammals and what it means for the robustness of a biosphere.

The green layer are cyanobacteria under a gypsum crust found in the desert near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Similar microbes on Mars may thrive very close to the surface.

Life Could Exist on Mars Today, Very Close to the Surface

Scientists tackle the question of what kinds of life might reside now on the Red Planet, and how we might find it.

A mini-fleet of Starships wait near a Martian base in this SpaceX artist's conception.

A Million People on Mars May Not Be Wishful Thinking

But colonists would have to change their diets, and learn to eat crickets.

The Viking 2 lander rests on the Martian surface following its landing in September 1976. Questions about what exactly it found have never been put to rest, however.

The Debate Over Whether We’ve Already Found Life on Mars, Continued

Were Martian microbes inadvertently killed in their first encounter with humans?

False color ultraviolet view of the Venusian clouds as seen by Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft.

An Airship for Exploring Venus? Russia Might Get There First

Mission designers lay out their plans for Venera-D at a recent workshop in Moscow.

Workshop attendees in Vienna, not a bad place to discuss life beyond Earth.

Practicing for Mars in Israel, Ancient Lunar Life, and More Astrobiology Notes from Vienna

Scientists from German-speaking countries convened in Austria to present their latest research results.

Naked mole-rats rule!

Could Naked Mole-Rats Take Over After an Asteroid Impact?

Don’t assume humans will be at the top of the heap forever.

The cathedral in Orleans next to the conference site. If we were able to build this monumental structure hundreds of years ago, why not spaceships today?

European Astrobiologists Look Ahead to ExoMars Mission and Ponder AI’s Role in the Search for Life

SETI and many more topics were on the agenda for astrobiologists meeting in Orleans, France.

Colonies of P. halocryophilus grown under perchlorate stress conditions look smaller and paler than normal colonies—but they’re still alive.

Could Earth Microbes Survive in a Martian Lake?

Seems unlikely. But we have yet to understand all the possibilities.

A Mega-Tsunami on Early Mars

Evidence for a much wetter and livelier planet, three billion years ago.

Hydrothermal activity at Yellowstone National Park. Is this the kind of setting where life arose?

Darwin’s Ideas About How Life Arose on Earth May Be Right After All

The case for a land-based, hydrothermal origin

We're taught to fear cyanide, but context is everything.

Cyanide—Poison or Bringer of Life?

Terrestrial biology may have gotten a boost from an unlikely source.

The Giant Pacific Octopus relies on its tentacles for cognition.  Might an alien do the same?

What’s New in Astrobiology

Progress on many fronts, and one very exciting future mission

The Solar Dynamics Observatory caught this image of a solar flare in progress on September 10, 2017.

Yet Another Looming Disaster

Solar “superflares” could bring down our wired civilization.

NASA plans to send small landers to the moon first, followed by astronauts by 2024.

All Eyes on the Moon

Our next-door neighbor—and NASA’s next destination—is also a great target for astrobiology.

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