There’s no lack of ice and snow near the Martian south pole, where it can be 3,500 meters thick.

Nightly Snow Storms on Mars

It may not be important for Martian life, but it makes us wonder.

Tardigrades are tough, but they still have to eat sometime.

What Would It Take to Wipe Out All Life on Earth?

Hard to say, but a recent study paints too happy a picture.

We know about DNA on Earth. What would carry the genetic code elsewhere?

Cracking an Alien’s Genetic Code

Detecting DNA—or its extraterrestrial equivalent—may be critical technology for future missions to Mars and the moons of the outer Solar System.

If aliens sent probes the size of these cubesats to observe us from space, our chances of detecting them would be very close to zero.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts

SETI research is picking up on the other side of the Atlantic.

Mars Pathfinder and its mini-rover Sojourner (pictured) landed on the Martian surface 20 years ago this week. The planet has been continuously “inhabited” by landers and orbiters ever since.

A Toxic Cocktail on the Surface of Mars

New experiments on Earth may affect how we search for life on the Red Planet.

The largest mass extinction, about 250 million years ago, was likely caused by massive outpouring of magma in Siberia for about 60,000 years.

Most Mass Extinctions Have Been Due to Global Warming

Might the next one be caused by humans rather than volcanoes?

We hoped extraterrestrials could decode the plaque attached to the Pioneer spacecraft in the 1970s. Would we be able to figure out theirs?

The Wow! Controversy and Decoding Alien Messages

Would you be able to decipher an extraterrestrial broadcast?

The "Big Ear" telescope at Ohio State. What exactly did it hear back in 1977?

Forty Years Later, SETI’s Famous Wow! Signal May Have an Explanation

But the controversy continues.

Evidence for flowing water on Mars, as seen by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. How much was contributed by rainfall?

Martian Rain

And what it tells us about the atmospheric pressure on early Mars.

Saturn’s ice moon Enceladus could become a habitable place, if only for a short period, were it to change its location.

Wandering Moons Could Make Good Abodes for Life

The bigger the exo-moon, the longer it’s likely to be habitable.

“Polygon” terrain on Mars.

Iceland on Mars?

Scientists find evidence of fire and ice in a Martian impact basin.

Enceladus and its geysers, as seen by Cassini.

Hydrogen on Enceladus: Interesting, But Not Conclusive for Life

Vents below the icy moon’s surface may power a biosphere, although there are other possibilities, too.

Chicxulub, Mexico, as it looks today.  Sixty-six million years ago, this was ground zero.

After the Asteroid Impact

Following the mass extinction 66 million years ago, life bounced back faster than expected.

Mars could use a little more atmosphere.

Want To Make Mars Livable? Bring Back Its Magnetic Field

A novel way to terraform the Red Planet.

A gravitational lens telescope, as envisioned by Claudio Maccone in his 2009 book Deep Space Flight and Communications.

The Ultimate Space Telescope Would Use the Sun as a Gravitational Lens

An old idea gets new attention.

A view over Jupiter’s south pole from NASA's Juno spacecraft.

A Vision for Planetary Science in 2050

We need to dream, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Even if dark matter life exists, we may never be able to see the forest or the trees.

Could Alien Life Be Hidden All Around Us?

Thoughts about dark matter biology and a shadow biosphere.

TRAPPIST-1 and family.

When it Comes to New Planets, Expect the Unexpected

Unfortunately, the TRAPPIST-1 planets are not the likeliest places to search for life.

Ahuna Mons, shown in this simulated view as it might appear to someone standing on the surface of Ceres, is thought to be an ice volcano.

Ceres Just Got A Lot More Interesting to Astrobiologists

Indigenous organics have been found on the largest body in the asteroid belt.

Artist's concept of a Europa lander.

A New Lander Concept for Europa

Life detection would be a key part of a mission to Jupiter’s intriguing icy moon.

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