Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt, a massive asteroid belt twenty times the size of the one between Mars and Jupiter. In this frigid, unforgiving environment, organic molecules might still survive, suggesting life's building blocks are everywhere in the universe.
Buckyballs are huge molecular conglomerations of carbon atoms in the shape of soccer balls, and it turns out space is absolutely teeming with them. It's quite possible that life on Earth couldn't have happened without these wonderfully-named buckyballs.
Saturn's moon Titan could hold life's building blocks in its hazy atmosphere. New simulations reveal amino acids and nucleotides could be forming there - and that perhaps we should look to the atmosphere for the source of life on Earth.
Scientists have long speculated that Mars might have played host to microbial life in an earlier era. Now that it's certain water exists on the Red Planet, they're trying to grow some microbes that could live there.
NASA's Astrobiology Program, which has been exploring the future of life in the universe since 1959, just got bigger. In attempt to further its continuing studies, NASA has awarded grants totaling $70 million for university research over the next five years. Their focus is on detecting signs of extraterrestrial life,…