Why 19th Century Scientists Believed That Life Originated In Space

The Panspermia Hypothesis holds that life on our planet traces its origins to space—say, a microbe-laden meteorite landing on primordial Earth. The theory, conceived before humans even went into space, was actually born out of criticism of Charles Darwin and his perceived failure to explain how life began. » 12/23/14 8:00am 12/23/14 8:00am

A Planet In The Dreaded "Rotisserie" Alignment Could Still Support Life

One of the criteria for the habitability of exoplanets is their obliquity—the angle of the axis relative to the orbit around a star. Current thinking holds that the more extreme the tilt, the less likely the possibility of life. But MIT researchers suggest one notable exception: a world completely covered by water. » 12/18/14 10:40am 12/18/14 10:40am

After The Sun Incinerates Earth, Life Could Evolve On Titan

In about 4 billion years, our sun will become a red giant star, engulfing the inner planets and basking the outer planets in its ebbing heat. When the happens, according to a NASA scientist, Saturn's moon Titan, which resembles a frozen version of Earth billions of years ago, could evolve its own indigenous life. » 11/24/14 12:15pm 11/24/14 12:15pm

Could Biological Life Be Just A Passing Phase In The Universe?

Steven Dick, a famed astronomer and historian, has completed a one-year residency at the Library of Congress, researching his next book, How the Discovery of Life Will Transform Our Thinking. In an exclusive interview posted on the Library's blog, he discusses such provocative issues as evolution on a cosmic scale. » 10/29/14 3:20pm 10/29/14 3:20pm

Does Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Harbor A Hidden Ocean?

It's not the prettiest thing in the solar system, nor is it the most interesting. But Mimas — a pockmarked moon in orbit around Saturn — does exhibit a rather strange wobble. A team of astronomers say there can only be one of two explanations: either it's harbouring a subterranean ocean or it has an irregularly shaped… » 10/17/14 10:20am 10/17/14 10:20am