NASA Is Seriously Revving Up The Search For Alien Life

A few weeks ago, NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan made news by saying, “I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.” It was a bold statement, but NASA is now backing those words with action. » 4/22/15 9:00am Wednesday 9:00am

This Image Is Why Everyone's So Excited About A NASA Mission To Europa

NASA wants to visit Jupiter's moon Europa. Why's that exciting? In a word: Water. As this visualization shows, the icy moon may look tiny next to our own planet, but it's got 2- to 3-times as much H2O as we have here on Earth. That "little" moon is packing quite the store of water — and with it, scientists think, a… » 4/08/15 12:00pm 4/08/15 12:00pm

These Color Swatches Could Help Us Find Alien Life

For the first time ever, scientists have created a detailed catalogue of color swatches that correspond to nearly 140 known microorganisms, including those that can live in the most extreme environments. Armed with this knowledge, astrobiologists can now scan the atmospheres of distant exoplanets in hopes of finding a… » 3/17/15 9:25am 3/17/15 9:25am

It's Time to Go Alien Hunting on Titan

Move over Europa, there's another moon out to claim the title of first place we'll discover extraterrestrial life. New research from Cornell University finds that alien microbes could, just maybe, eek it out on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. But these critters wouldn't be like anything we've ever seen before—not even… » 3/01/15 5:00pm 3/01/15 5:00pm

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