Planets

Scientists searching for alien life are starting to consider some weird biological possibilities

From blob-like jellyfish to rock-like lichens, our planet teems with such diversity of life that it is difficult to recognize some organisms as even being alive. That complexity hints at the challenge of searching for life as we <i>don’t</i> know it – the alien biology that might have taken hold on other …

Big Ideas

Scorching hot Mercury looks icier than previously thought

With blistering daytime temperatures of up to 800° F (427° C), Mercury isn't the first planet in the solar system you'd think to look for ice. But …

Space

Cassini captured unexplained ‘glitch’ on Saturn’s rings before death dive

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft completed its incredibly successful extended mission last week, punctuated by a fiery death at the hands of Saturn’s upper …

Science

Curiosity Rover Climbing Steep Martian Ridge (Photos)

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is chugging up a steep red-rock slope that wouldn't look out of place in the canyon country of the American …

This scorching black exoplanet takes in all the light it can and gives almost nothing back

As black as day.<p><i>We have discovered a planet. It gathers in light from its sun, and refuses to let go. In return, the star strips away the planet’s atmosphere, slowly devouring it.</i><p>That's how the popular planet-inventing Twitter bot Newfound Planets , might describe this particular gaseous giant, …

Space

Enhanced NASA Images Show Potential for Buried Ice Near the Martian Equator

NASA made headlines around the world back in 2015 when it discovered evidence of briny water flowing on the surface of Mars. The agency detected …

After Cassini's End at Saturn, Outer Planets Exploration Shifts to Jupiter

With NASA's Cassini spacecraft now just a blur of molecules in Saturn's cloud tops, another gas giant is rotating into the crosshairs of the …

Space Exploration

Cassini crashes: It’s time for a new mission to explore the possibility of life on Saturn’s moons

As Cassini’s titanic mission comes to an end, we need to start thinking ahead.<p>NASA’s Cassini mission has made its “death plunge” into the swirling …

Space Exploration

The surface environment on Mars supported liquid water 3.5 billion years ago: Study

<b>Mars</b> had a surface environment that supported liquid water about 3.5 billion years ago, according to a study of river deposits spread across the red …

Earth

The cosmic water trail uncovered by Herschel

19 September 2017<p><b>During almost four years of observing the cosmos, the Herschel Space Observatory traced out the presence of water. With its</b> …

Astronomy

Cold World, Hot Topic: Can Microbes Survive on Mars?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A tiny version of Mars on Earth is tucked inside the Space Life Sciences Lab here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center — a …

Looking for life on Mars? Start with microbes in Antarctica

Researchers hope that three thousand year old microbes who have battled the harshest conditions can teach us more about survival<p>In December 2016, …

Biology

The Moon is about to do something it only does once every 28 years

The total solar eclipse that occurred this summer drew incredible excitement from even casual sky gazers, but our moon is about to perform a feat …

Science

If Earth Was Even A Fraction Further From The Sun It Would Be Completely Unrecognisable

We don't realise how lucky we are.<p>Earth is already a statistical anomaly, something that at present shines out as a blip on the norm of space.<p>Well a new study looking into the atmosphere’s of exoplanets has revealed just how lucky we really are.<p>The team from Sorbonne Universitiés has found that …

Habitable Zone

See Cassini's last look at Saturn's weird yin-yang moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft vaporized itself in Saturn's atmosphere last week, but it leaves behind an incredible legacy of exploration. The space agency shared Cassini's last view of Saturn's moon Iapetus Monday.<p>Saturn has dozens of moons, but Iapetus is a standout thanks to its strange …

Astronomy

NASA Mars Test Crew Craved Fresh Fruit & Eggs After 8 Months in Isolation

Researchers taking part in the Mars simulation still grew an impressive list of produce including carrots, peppers, and cabbage.<p>Let's just say… …

Exploration

What we're hoping to learn from the magnetic readings of Cassini's final orbits

It was a proud but sad moment when NASA announced that mission control had lost the signal from the Cassini spacecraft on September 15. As it takes …

Magnetism

The Asteroid Belt May Be a 'Treasure Trove' of Planetary Building Blocks

The asteroid belt may have started out empty, later becoming a "cosmic refugee camp" taking on leftovers of planetary formation from across the solar …

Space Exploration

'It Went Perfectly': Cassini Saturn Probe Was a Pro to the Very End

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA's Cassini spacecraft died the way it lived — as a well-oiled, data-gathering machine.<p>Cassini exceeded its handlers' …

Space Exploration

Astronomers Just Found a Surprise Hidden on The Mysterious Night Side of Venus

We only come out at night.<p>With its scorching heat and corrosive atmosphere, the toxic hellhole that is Venus isn't the most inviting place in the …

Science

Cassini's final image

Cassini sent its final signal early Friday morning before making a fiery plunge into Saturn's atmosphere — lasting 20 seconds longer than anticipated …

Astronomy

Saturn ruled this scientist's life for 40 years — here's why she's begging NASA to go back after Cassini's death

• <b>Linda Spilker began researching Saturn at NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory four decades ago.</b>• <b><br>She worked on the Voyager mission and was on the Cassini mission to Saturn, which recently ended, from start to finish.</b>• <b><br>Because there's a chance alien life may exist at Saturn's moon Enceladus, Spilker has</b> …

Space Exploration

Spectacular Saturn Images by 'Amateurs' Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Earnest Hamby<p>Slide 1 of 27<p>Wow! Saturn<p>Since 2004, the Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting …

Astronomy

DEATH OF CASSINI: Saturn's Great Explorer Crashes Into Planet's Atmosphere

After 20 years of traveling across the solar system, exploring Saturn and its moons, and collecting over 600 gigabytes of data, the Cassini sp

Conservative View

My eight months on 'Mars' - Brit 'returns to Earth' after living on volcano to mimic life on Red Planet

Emerging after eight months living on a virtual Mars, a British man has finally ‘returned to Earth’.<p>Samuel Payler gave up a chunk of his year to help …

Hawaii

See it! Dance of planets before dawn

Mars emerged in the east before dawn last week, to meet Mercury below bright Venus. Photos here from the EarthSky community. Thanks to all who …

Science

Cassini Delivers a Final Round of Jaw-Dropping Images Before Its Death

After 20 years in space and 13 years on the job as a scientific instrument orbiting Saturn, Cassini, the probe sent to explore the ringed planet and …

Science

This Year’s Awesome Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories From Around the Web (Through Sept 16)

Each week we scour the web for great articles and fascinating advances across our core topics, from robots to biotech and AI. We pay special …

Augmented Reality

As Oceans Alkalized, Life Developed Bones and Shells

A critical feature of many multicellular lifeforms on Earth are hard, biological structures, such as animal bones and snail shells that are made from …

Evolution

Cassini Crashes Into Saturn In Meteoric Blaze Of Glory: The Final Photos

After a long adventure spanning two decades and nearly five billion miles, the Cassini spacecraft crashed into Saturn in a blaze of glory. Farewell …

Space Exploration