Tidal flats at Turnagain Arm in Alaska.

Life Found Refuge From Radiation on the Early Earth

Maybe the ocean wasn’t the only habitable place four billion years ago.

By our plastics will they know us.

Signs of Advanced Life—on Earth

Humans have left their mark in the geologic record, just as alien civilizations might on other worlds.

Occator Crater on Ceres, in false color, with the spots shining brightly. Blue is generally associated with bright material, found in more than 130 locations, and seems to be consistent with salts such as sulfates. The crater is 60 miles across.

Ceres’ Spots in the Spotlight

Water and organics are reported. Is there energy, too?

The plume of Enceladus, as seen by Cassini last May.

Searching for Life at Enceladus

Which is better, a sample return mission or an onsite investigation?

A living chiton, Acanthopleura granulate, also known as the West Indian fuzzy chiton, on a rock in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.

This Bizarre Rock Creature Has Minerals for Eyes

An alien in our midst, in the form of a Caribbean chiton.

The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia will soon become the premier instrument for SETI.

SETI: Shortcut or Longshot?

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is improving, yes, but don’t give up on other astrobiological investigations just yet.

Possible future: Artist’s conception of a vehicle at the Mars surface station, sometime in the 2030s.

Human Mars Mission a “Go” For 2035

NASA takes the first step in a historic journey.

Artist's concept of early Earth, when things were still hellishly hot.

Life on Earth Is 100 Million Years Older Than We Thought

New evidence points to an origin 4.1 billion years ago.

Artist’s conception of the ExoMars rover due to launch in 2018 or 2020.

ExoMars: A Crabwalking Rover With a Chance to Find Life

Europe’s first Mars landing mission is due to get under way next spring.

The central peak within Gale Crater rises 18,000 feet above the valley floor.

A Martian Land of Lakes

Another week, another leap in our understanding of water on Mars, but with many open questions.

Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) appear as dark streaks on the slopes of Coprates Chasma on Mars.

Mars Just Got a Little More Life-Friendly

Water on the surface? Check. But that doesn’t automatically make the planet habitable.

Life on our planet without photosynthesis—and oxygen—is unthinkable, yet it existed for hundreds of millions of years.

Don’t Let Oxygen Fool You

As a sign of life on other planets, oxygen may not be the smoking gun some of us thought it was.

The Lost City hydrothermal field in the mid-Atlantic.

Remnants of Life Found Half a Mile Below the Seafloor

Similar deep habitats might be found on other worlds.

An outpost on Mars, from the upcoming film “The Martian.”  NASA hopes to make it real someday.

NASA Creates Research Institute to Study Human Spaceflight

Another small step closer to a human mission to Mars.

Artist's concept of the NASA Europa explorer of the 2020s.

Life Detection Experiment Might Be Added to Europa Mission

NASA leaves open the possibility of a dedicated instrument on its Jupiter-bound spacecraft.

Artist’s impression of the surface of Kepler 452b, created by the SETI Institute, who have been working in conjunction with NASA.

The Most Earthlike Planet Yet Makes a Good Target for SETI

The newly discovered world gives us a preview of what Earth may look like 1.5 billion years in the future.

Selecting a Landing Site for Humans on Mars

NASA takes a small step toward a big decision.

The "Wow!" signal

SETI and the Rise of the Machines

Non-biological intelligence offers another possible solution to the Fermi Paradox.

Artist's rendering of the SuperCam instrument on NASA's planned 2020 Mars rover, which will be able to "sample" rocks from a distance, analyzing their mineralogy and chemistry and searching for organic material. The rover itself will be based on the Curiosity rover now exploring the Red Planet.

Sample Return May Not Be the Best Way to Find Martian Life

NASA’s Mars 2020 will be a great technology demonstrator, but is it right for astrobiology?

Artist's conception of early Earth. Life survived here, but what about other places?

Life May Need to Take Charge of a Planet to Survive

A sobering solution to Fermi’s Paradox

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