When it comes to enjoying the full-blown magnificence of a star-studded sky, or the peak of a spectacular meteor shower, the Moon (to borrow a phrase from astronomer Mike Brown) is your nemesis.
For the last twenty million years, Chile's Atacama Desert has been the driest, most inhospitable place on Earth. But deep below the surface of this unimaginably arid world, microbes are flourishing without even oxygen or sunlight. Meet the extremest extremophiles.
South America's Atacama Desert gets less than a millimeter of rain a year, and some areas have probably never received rainfall. Yet there are rocks in the desert that seem to have been eroded by water. What's going on here?