Sputnik Planitia on Pluto, as seen by New Horizons.

Pluto: Another Abode for Life?

Icy worlds might be more habitable than previously thought.

Curiosity's view of rock strata at the foot of Mt. Sharp on Mars. Finding signs of Martian life will require scientists to keep an open mind.

On Mars, Organics Are Hard to Find

And now we know the reason why.

It came from Mars: the Nakhla meteorite.

Claimed Signs of Life in a Martian Meteorite

Like other previous claims, this one may not hold up.

Breakthrough Initiatives are designed to think big. One idea that has attracted a lot of attention is to construct solar sails capable of achieving velocities up to 20 percent of light speed, thus making interstellar travel possible.

Astrobiologists In Search of a Breakthrough

Researchers consider the frontiers of life at an annual conference in Berkeley.

Nuclear power plants could leave evidence of our existence for future civilizations.

The Timing and Causes of Mass Extinctions

Could there be a human signal in the geological record?

Cosmonauts installed ESA’s Expose-R2 facility on the outside of the space station in 2014.

Exposed on the Space Station

A test of how microbes survive in space

Did life arise on more than one world?  Religious organizations are interested too.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Heats Up

Where do we stand, and what are the most promising leads?

Suspected traces of a tunneling organism, 2.1 billion years ago.

Complex Life May Have Existed on Earth Much Earlier Than We Thought

Exciting new evidence from an ancient sea in Africa.

Ask the bombardier beetle—or rather, its enemies—if hydrogen peroxide has any biological use.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Bringer of Life?

This familiar household item may be more important than we thought.

The 20-pound lunar sample designated 14321, also known as "Big Bertha," was the third-largest rock returned from the Moon. Astronauts Alan Shepard and Ed Mitchell found it near the rim of Cone Crater during their second Apollo 14 Moonwalk.

An Ancient Rock From Earth—Found on the Moon

The puzzle over Apollo sample 14321

Universities participating in NASA's Mars Ice Challenge try to devise innovative ways to drill for water on the Red Planet.

The Anthropocene Is Coming to Mars

Humans are about to extend their influence to a second world.

Mars (pictured by the Curiosity rover), still a mystery when it comes to life. But we may be getting closer to finding answers.

The Year of Astrobiology?

From Ultima Thule to life detection on Mars, biology moves to the forefront of space exploration.

A large impact ejects lots of material into space, and at least some of those rocks may contain life.

It Came From the Heavens

New research supports the idea that life can spread from one world to another.

The supernova that formed the Crab Nebula (portrait by the Hubble Space Telescope) was fairly recent, but not as deadly, perhaps, as explosions in the distant past.

Were Muons to Blame for a Mass Extinction More Than Two Million Years Ago?

Supernova explosions could have far-reaching consequences for life on Earth, but probably not in this case.

It's a big Universe out there.

Adopting a Non-Earthcentric View

One of many ways astrobiology progressed over the last decade

NASA's next Mars rover, due to launch in 2020, will be charged with collecting samples for return to Earth.

Moving Mars Exploration Forward

What exactly are we looking for as we plan future missions?

Curiosity found organics in Gale Crater on Mars. But is there or was there ever life?

Where Did the Organic Matter on Mars Come From?

Biology may not be required to explain the chemicals we see in Martian rocks and meteorites.

Fossil trilobites: We're good on oxygen, thanks.

Rising Oxygen Levels and What They Meant for Early Animal Life

The study of atmospheric gases may tell us which planets are best suited to advanced civilizations.

Artist's conception of a neutron star.

Speculations on a Neutron Star

Could life use other types of energy beside electromagnetic radiation?

Spores of the Anthrax bacillus.

Turn Up the Heat: Bacterial Spores Can Take Temperatures in the Hundreds of Degrees

New research makes panspermia—the spreading of life from one planet to another—more likely.

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