Ugly, but fascinating.

The Naked Mole-Rat, an Alien in Our Midst

Look what the weirdest mammal on the planet can do.

Advanced life on an ocean world would be very different, but maybe not impossible.

Is Solid Land Necessary for Biology?

And if life could arise on an ocean world, how far could it evolve?

The ladybug, shaped by the environment in which it lives.

How Fundamental Physics Shapes the Diversity of Life

Could the recently discovered Martian lake be a test case?

Chaos region on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

The Search for Life on Europa Just Got Easier

We may be able to recover potential biosignatures without drilling.

If water once existed on the lunar surface for extended periods, could life have found a foothold?

Earth’s Moon Could Have Been Habitable 3.5 Billion Years Ago

And the best way to find out is to step up the pace of lunar exploration.

Keeping it clean: Technicians prepare the Mars Insight lander for its trip to another world.

It’s Time to Rethink the Way We Practice Safe Solar System Exploration

The National Academies weigh in on planetary protection.

If only life were as easy to spot as the plants on this hypothetical exoplanet.

Reading the Signs of Life

It won’t be as simple as finding a single “smoking gun.”

Cassini's Titan Radar Mapper imaged an eighth impact crater on June 21, 2011.

Where to Look for Life on Titan

Would fresh impact craters or cryovolcanoes make better targets for astrobiologists?

Curiosity has found what it went looking for.

Fingerprints of Martian Life

Recent discoveries by the Curiosity rover reset the debate about life on Mars.

Amy Adams tries to decode an alien message in the 2016 film "Arrival."

How to Communicate with Aliens

Some interesting ideas bounced around at a recent workshop.

Is there complex life on this exoplanet?

How to Test the Cosmic Zoo Hypothesis

Future space missions should be able to detect a complex biosphere on an exoplanet.

Gale Crater is dry today, but once was filled with water. Could fossilized microbes be preserved in the ancient lake sediments?

Where to Search for Fossils on Mars

Did an early biosphere exist on the Red Planet? And if so, is it still there?

Salts are common in the Southern Highlands (orange areas), which span a huge area on Mars.

Salts Help Bacteria Survive on Mars

The Southern Highlands of Mars would make a good site for a future landing mission.

Electron microscope image of a deformed diamond matrix inside a meteorite known as Almahata Sitta MS-170.

Diamonds in Meteorites Offer a Glimpse of the Early Solar System

These rocks formed under higher pressure than you’d normally get from an asteroid collision.

If Wakanda can stay hidden, could a past civilization have escaped discovery?

Can We Be Sure We’re the First Industrial Civilization on Earth?

Finding traces of ancient technology would be no easy task.

Artist's conception of a flaring red dwarf star.

You Don’t Want to Be on Proxima b During a Stellar Eruption

The closest exoplanet to Earth is lifeless, due to superflares.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to start collecting samples for eventual return to Earth within just a few years.

How to Keep Earth Safe From Martian Rocks

It’s a question we’ll have to face before we start returning samples.

Some day soon, we may be able to quickly scan the Martian surface for signs of life.

Next-Generation Life Detectors Are On the Way

Scientists are coming up with non-destructive, non-contact, and highly efficient ways to look for biology on other worlds.

The Hadean period, during which life likely originated on Earth, was extremely active in terms of volcanism.

Life May Have Begun in Ocean Sediments, According to New Theory

Trying to pinpoint the origin of life on Earth.

Homo neanderthalensis, artist.

Neanderthal Cave Art Suggests They Were Smarter Than We Thought

Does that mean a second human lineage could have developed technology?

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