Red dwarf stars might be best places to discover alien life
Red dwarfs are the most common type of star in the universe, and nearly every one of these stars may have a planet located in its habitable zone where life has the best chance of existing, a new study concludes.
Planets with oddball orbits like Mercury could host life
Mercury has an oddball orbit—it takes longer for it to rotate on its axis and complete a day than it takes to orbit the sun and complete a year. Now, researchers suggest photosynthesis could take place ...
Microbes can survive in meteorites if shielded from UV radiation, study says
Outer space might be the toughest environment for life, but some hearty microbes have been able to survive in it for surprising amounts of time. How long they can do so and why they are able to withstand ...
Hardy bacteria thrive under hot desert rocks
Beneath the rocks scarring California's Mojave Desert are colonies of cyanobacteria, tiny creatures thought to be some of the first on Earth to convert light from the Sun into energy in the process known ...
Seeing Earth as an exoplanet: What signs of life are visible?
An extraterrestrial spacecraft lurking in a satellite's orbit near Earth would be able to see city lights and pollution in our atmosphere. But what if it searched for signs of life on Earth from afar?
Hot super-Earths help track water-rich atmospheres
As the discovery of planets beyond the Solar System becomes more common, scientists have begun the in-depth study of the atmospheres of these bodies.
Alien moons could bake dry from young gas giants' hot glow
When we think of where else life might exist in the universe, we tend to focus on planets. But on a grander cosmic scale, moons could prove the more common life-friendly abode.
Lichens can survive space conditions for extended periods
A new study shows that a large percentage of hardy lichens exposed to space conditions for one and a half years remain viable after returning to Earth. The lichen Xanthoria elegans was part of the lichen ...
Could alien life cope with a hotter, brighter star?
The stars in the night sky shine in myriad hues and brightnesses—piercing blues, clean whites, smoldering crimsons. Every star has a different mass, the basic characteristic that determines its size, lifespan, ...
Don't forget F-type stars in search for life, scientists say
Scientists searching for habitable planets beyond Earth shouldn't overlook F-type stars in favor of their more abundant, smaller and cooler cousins, according to new research from University of Texas at Arlington ...
Cosmic impacts may help create suitable habitat for life
Cosmic impacts are known to trigger mass extinctions on Earth. However, a new study adds to evidence that asteroid and cometary bombardment can also shelter life by generating pores in rocks that shelter ...
Could dying planets harbor life?
If life does exist anywhere else in the universe, it may only be fleeting. Now scientists are researching how signs of life might look on dying planets.
Cyborg Astrobiologist uses phone-cam to search for signs of life
A novel, hybrid part-human, part-machine visual system that uses a simple mobile phone camera has been developed to search for evidence of past or present life in planetary analogue sites on Earth. Patrick ...
Gale before Curiosity: What we knew and what the rover may reveal
The first comprehensive analysis of what we knew about the Gale crater on Mars before the recent landing of space rover Curiosity has been published by the International Journal of Astrobiology (IJA).