science
Most Habitable Earth-Like Planets May Be Waterworlds

Over 70 per cent of our planet is covered in water, and we tend to think that’s a lot. A new study suggests that our world is special in this regard, and that most habitable planets are dominated by oceans that consume over 90 per cent their surface area. That may be good for primitive marine life, but not so good for aspiring civilisations. Read More >>

space
More Evidence That Aliens Aren’t Trying to Communicate With Us

Some SETI researchers believe the best way to detect aliens is to search the skies for their laser beams. In the largest survey of its kind, astronomers scanned 5,600 stars in search of these optical signals—and they found...absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. Here’s what that means to SETI and the ongoing hunt for alien intelligence. Read More >>

space
The Prospects for Life on TRAPPIST-1 Keep Getting Better

Less than a week ago, the citizens of Earth were introduced (technically, re-introduced) to a star system 39 light years away hosting seven Earth-sized exoplanets, three of which lie squarely in the habitable zone. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, researchers are now suggesting that a fourth of the TRAPPIST-1 planets might be habitable, too—if we stretch our imaginations a bit. Read More >>

space
This Promising New Tool Can Help Us Find Life on Europa

If alien life is out there in our solar system, it’s probably very small and very hard to detect, buried deep beneath the surface of an icy moon. But, rejoice alien seekers: a new test developed by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory could improve our chances of spotting extraterrestrial microbes and ending our cosmic loneliness once and for all. Read More >>

space
Our Next Trip to Saturn Will Be to Search For Alien Life

As the Cassini spacecraft executes its final daredevil manoeuvres, scientists on both sides of the Atlantic are already thinking about the next mission to Saturn. But this time around, nobody’s talking about studying the gas giant itself. They’re talking about hunting for life in Saturn’s rings. Read More >>

space
NASA Didn’t Find Life on Mars—But It Did Find Something Very Cool

If we ever get proof of past life on Mars, it’ll come in the form of biosignatures, fingerprints that could only have been left by living organisms. We’re a long way from finding that smoking gun evidence, but an analysis of silica minerals discovered by NASA’s Spirit rover pushes us one step closer. Because of their similarity to silica deposits shaped by microbial life on Earth, these intriguing Martian minerals are now being called a “potential biosignature.” Read More >>

space
Another One of Saturn’s Moons May Have a Global Ocean

The evidence is mounting that our solar system is rife with oceans. Last week, scientists reported that Pluto could have an insanely deep liquid water swimming pool beneath its surface, and on Monday, NASA revealed new evidence for geyser activity on icy Europa. Now, another frozen moon is poised to join the club of outer space scuba retreats: Dione. Read More >>

space
Hubble Discovers New Evidence of Water Geysers on Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa is on the shortlist of places we might discover alien life in our solar system. And today, the prospects for finding extraterrestrial microbes on this little ice moon got a lot better, when NASA unveiled new evidence for water geysers near Europa’s south pole. The discovery strengthens the case for a geothermally-heated, subsurface ocean. Read More >>

space
Alien Hunters Spot Freaky Radio Signal Coming From Nearby Star

Astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio Telescope in the Russian Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia have detected an unusual signal emanating from a star located about 94 light-years from Earth. It’s not clear if the signal is being transmitted by aliens, but the researchers say we should keep a close watch on this intriguing new extraterrestrial candidate. Read More >>

space
How Life Could Survive on Proxima B

After a week of rampant speculation, astronomers have officially announced the discovery of Proxima b, a potentially habitable world circling our nearest neighbouring star. But even as engineers prepare for an interstellar voyage to scope out Proxima b for signs of life, some experts warn that M dwarf systems like Proxima Centauri may be unable to support life at all. Read More >>

space
Maybe We Don’t Have to Nuke Mars (So Much) After All

Terraforming Mars could be our only option once we screw this planet up beyond repair, but how exactly are we going to do it? One popular scheme involves releasing truckloads of nuclear warheads over the poles, unlocking billions of tons of frozen carbon dioxide and triggering a runaway greenhouse. Read More >>

space
There May Be an Earth-Like Exoplanet Less Than Five Light Years Away

Rumours are flying that astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have discovered an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighbouring star. If confirmed, this is undeniably one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century. Read More >>

space
Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects. Read More >>

space
There’s Growing Evidence That Venus Was Once Habitable

If you could hop in a time-travelling spacecraft, go back three billion years and land any place in our solar system, where would you want to end up? Earth, with its barren continents and unbreathable atmosphere? Or Mars, a chillier version its big brother? Wait, what about Venus? Read More >>

deep time
This Atmospheric Time Capsule Could Change Earth’s History

Buried inside ancient grains of rock salt, a team of geologists has discovered traces of a breathable, animal-friendly atmosphere. If confirmed, the finding will push back the rise of oxygen on Earth hundreds of millions of years, raising new questions about the evolution of complex life both here and beyond our solar system. Read More >>