Habitable-zone planet that looks much like Earth (art)


Where to Look for Life: Homing in on the Habitable Zone

Scientists are refining the definition of the habitable zone in an effort to aid future efforts at finding life.

Meteoroids deliver organics


Scientists Wonder: Is the Origin of Life Extraterrestrial?

A new analysis method has revealed DNA building blocks in meteorites, suggesting that these prebiotic molecules might have formed during the solar system's earliest years.

Gibbous Venus from Akatsuki

Solar System

Potential Biosignature Found in Venus’s Clouds

Astronomers might have found a potential indication of life in the clouds of Venus.

E. oli bacteria


Could There Be Life Under a Hydrogen Sky?

Scientists have discovered that life could survive within a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. The finding is not necessarily a surprise but could have implications for the search for life.

Curiosity selfie


Curiosity Detects Big Whiff of Methane on Mars

The Curiosity rover on Mars detected the highest level of methane yet, but a follow-on experiment saw those levels recede within a week. Scientists are working to understand the significance of the result.

Science-based Q&A

The Kavli Foundation Q&A: The Extraterrestrial Next Door

Researchers discuss new signs of chemistry favorable to life at Mars, Europa, and Enceladus — plus how to probe for its presence with interplanetary missions.


Identifying Life from Varying Atmospheres

There’s no hiding — changes in Earth’s atmosphere over the seasons are a dead giveaway to the fact that Earth hosts life. Now a new study explores whether we might use atmospheric seasonality like Earth’s to detect life on other planets. Looking for Change Most of the searches for life…


Some Plants Grow Well in Martian Soil

Astrobiology students cultivated leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and even hops in simulated Martian dirt.

artist's concept of Cassini at Enceladus

Solar System

Enceladus: Hydrothermal Heating Confirmed

Astronomers have more evidence that the hidden ocean inside Saturn’s moon Enceladus is heated by hydrothermal activity.