Did Life On Earth As We Know It Come From ‘Geological Life’?

When it comes to life on Earth, we're not sure if it came from the outside (transported by comets) or on the inside. A new theory focuses on the "interior " theory, saying that microbes could have evolved from non-living matter such as chemical compounds in minerals and gases. » 3/13/14 9:40am 3/13/14 9:40am

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… » 3/08/14 8:15am 3/08/14 8:15am

A New Scientific Model that Defines Alien Intelligence

Should we ever detect an extraterrestrial civilization, or any kind of alien life for that matter, it's a safe bet they'll look very different from us. They'll also probably think in a way that's completely foreign to what we're used to. Here's how experts believe we might be able to predict what the minds of aliens… » 1/28/14 11:14am 1/28/14 11:14am

Chemists show life on Earth was not a fluke

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How life came about from inanimate sets of chemicals is still a mystery. While we may never be certain which chemicals existed on prebiotic Earth, we can study the biomolecules we have today to give us clues about what happened three billion years ago. Now scientists have used a set of these biomolecules to show one… » 10/24/13 8:40am 10/24/13 8:40am

Searching for life in our galaxy may have just gotten a little harder

Let's say you're a planetary scientist searching for signs of life on other worlds, and you happen upon an exoplanet whose atmosphere contains a large proportion of oxygen. Jackpot, right? Not exactly. New research shows planets orbiting red dwarf stars may harbor signatures of life (like oxygen) that are actually… » 10/11/13 4:40pm 10/11/13 4:40pm

NASA is getting ready to search for signs of life on Mars

The goal of NASA's Curiosity rover is to determine if Mars was ever capable of supporting life. But the Agency's next rover, set to launch in 2020, could take things one giant step further. Given recent findings, says Jack Mustard, chairman of the Agency's Science Definition Team, "past Martian life seems possible,… » 7/10/13 12:17pm 7/10/13 12:17pm

A New Equation Reveals Our Exact Odds of Finding Alien Life

It’s been over half a century since Frank Drake developed an equation to estimate the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy. We’ve learned a lot since then, prompting an astrophysicist from MIT to come up with her own take on the equation. Here’s how the new formula works — and how it could help in the… » 6/21/13 11:00am 6/21/13 11:00am