Deep Sea Electricity May Have Kickstarted Life On Our Planet 

Curious about how life got started on Earth 3.8 billion years ago? Here’s a thought: Why not recreate ancient hydrothermal vents in the lab, and see if they produce enough juice to power a lightbulb? That, at least, is what a bunch of scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab decided to do—and the electrifying results are… »8/06/15 12:40pm8/06/15 12:40pm

Here Are The 9 Instruments We'll Use To Reveal The Secrets Of Europa

Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter, is a favourite target for everyone from serious exobiologists to optimistic science fiction authors as a likely setting to find alien life in our solar system. Today, NASA announced the nine instruments that will be on-board the next robotic explorer to investigate the enigmatic world. »5/26/15 7:11pm5/26/15 7:11pm

The Mysterious Bands Crisscrossing Jupiter's Moon Europa May Be Sea Salt

The icy white surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa is streaked in yellow-brown, cracks made by the ocean below. These dark streaks hint at the chemical composition of the ocean, which is one of the top places to search for alien life. Here’s encouraging news: The dark color may come from sea salt—the same stuff in our… »5/12/15 3:35pm5/12/15 3:35pm

Scientists say these mysterious shrimp may hold keys to alien life

According to exobiologists at NASA, these mysterious shrimp and its symbiotic bacterium may hold clues "about what life could be like on other planetary bodies." It's life that may be similar—at the basic level—to what could be lurking in the oceans of Europa, deep under the icy crust of the Jupiter moon. »11/22/14 1:39am11/22/14 1:39am

The Ice-Diving Robot That Could Look for Alien Life on Jupiter's Moon

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans… »7/23/14 5:59pm7/23/14 5:59pm

It's hard to top the holy shit news that Antarctica is, as we've long feared, irreversibly melting,

It's hard to top the holy shit news that Antarctica is, as we've long feared, irreversibly melting, but this week's Landscape Reads is chock full of other great stories. Could the difference between rice and wheat farming also explain cultural differences? (By the way, those are rice terraces above!) What's a… »5/13/14 6:00pm5/13/14 6:00pm

2030 Space Odyssey: NASA will search for alien life in Jupiter's moon

This is amazing news: NASA is sending a mission to Europa! If everything goes well, a robotic submarine may be landing on Jupiter's moon—the world that scientists believe is the most likely to contain life in the Solar System—by 2030, a real space odyssey. This has the potential to change the world. »3/05/14 12:06pm3/05/14 12:06pm

Hubble detects water plumes coming out of Jupiter moon Europa

For the first time ever, the Hubble Space Telescope has observed water plumes on the icy crust of Europa. The Jovian moon is one of the most likely worlds to contain life in the Solar System. According to Lorenz Roth—who headed the team that made the discovery—"this is tremendously exciting." No kidding. »12/12/13 11:51am12/12/13 11:51am

The Robot Explorer That Will Navigate Jupiter's Liquid Moon

NASA's Europa Jupiter System Mission, set for 2026, will be the first survey Jupiter's frozen moon. Scientists also plan to explore the moon's liquid oceans, which are buried under 6km of ice. Getting through that will be tough. But once we hit water, Eurpoa's interior will be explored by the most advanced autonomous… »7/27/12 11:30am7/27/12 11:30am