After a week of rampant speculation, astronomers have officially announced the discovery of Proxima b, a potentially habitable world circling our nearest neighboring 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…
Rumors are flying that astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have discovered an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighboring star. If confirmed, this is undeniably one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century.
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…
If you could hop in a time-traveling 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?
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…
Saturn’s moon Titan is a frigid hellscape by Earth standards, but it’s also one of the most hopeful spots for discovering alien life in our solar system. A new scientific paper hints that conditions on Titan’s surface might be favorable for the chemistry of life to emerge.
Since the 1960s, the Drake Equation has been used to predict how many communicative extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy. Along these same lines, a new formula seeks to estimate the frequency at which life emerges on a planet—a calculation that might allow us to figure out the likelihood of…
Using some of the world’s most sophisticated telescopes, a pair of astronomers has discovered a first-of-its-kind organic molecule in an enormous star-forming cloud thousands of light years away. And it could shed light on one of most poorly-understood properties of life on Earth.
Red dwarfs are the most common type of star in the galaxy. But new research suggests that life within these systems may be limited, due to the stiflingly hot atmospheres on Earth-sized planets that orbit the red dwarfs.
Mars may be a frigid, dusty wasteland today, but evidence is mounting that the Red Planet was warm and wet long ago. Future missions to Mars will seek out signs of life from that livelier era—and a recent geologic analysis has revealed where we should begin our search.
If a massive solar storm struck the Earth today, it could wipe out our technology and hurl us back to the dark ages. Lucky for us, events like this are quite rare. But four billion years ago, extreme space weather was probably the norm. And rather than bringing the apocalypse, it might have kickstarted life.
Remember all that fuss last year about the supposed discovery of an alien megastructure? A new study is taking issue with some of the data used in support of the theory, claiming that the observations were tarnished by the inconsistent use of telescopes down here on Earth.
It looks like the set from a 1950s scifi flick, but this toxic, funhouse-colored hot spring isn’t humanity’s first deadly encounter with alien biology. Although it is home to some very strange life forms, and we’re not sure what would happen if those gloves came off.
In further proof that our planet still has amazing secrets to give up, scientists are reporting evidence of an enormous, never-before-seen subglacial lake, buried beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet. Cthulhu hunters, take note.
The case that we’re all just highly organized lumps of space candy keeps getting better. For the first time, scientists have created ribose—the key sugar underlying RNA—in laboratory conditions simulating the cold, radiation-blasted vacuum of outer space.
NASA gets all the glory when it comes to Martian exploration, but two other space agencies are now hoping to change that. Early next week, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos are launching the first phase of their joint ExoMars mission, a major new scientific effort with an badass goal: discovering signs of life…
A team of astronomers is proposing a new way to hunt for intelligent life that sounds rather obvious when you think about it: We need to be the aliens. Or at least, we need to put ourselves in their shoes and think about where in the sky they can see us.
With Pluto millions of miles behind us and construction of the James Webb Space Telescope moving swiftly along, astronomers are already thinking about the Next Big Mission. At the top of their wish list? A forty foot-wide orbital telescope that’ll search for proof of life beyond Earth.