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 as photosynthesis. ...
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 the difficulties ...
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.
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 and fungi experiment ...
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 on an alien planet ...
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.
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?
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 microbes from damaging ...
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 physicists.