Search for Life Archive
27 September 2013, 12:47 PM ET
A toxic chemical in Martian dirt may obscure scientists' search for extraterrestrial life. Perchlorates on the Red Planet may cause reactions in Curiosity's soil samples that destroy organic compounds, researchers say.
26 September 2013, 09:00 PM ET
Four of the five main databases that catalog exoplanet discoveries now list more than 900 confirmed alien worlds, and two of them peg the tally at 986 as of today (Sept. 26). So the 1,000th exoplanet may be spotted in a matter of days or weeks.
26 September 2013, 02:01 PM ET
Future Mars explorers should be able to get all the water they need out of the red dirt beneath their boots, a new study suggests. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found that surface soil on the Red Planet contains about 2 percent water by weight.
26 September 2013, 07:30 AM ET
A group of renowned scientists, engineers, artists and others need your help to send a message into the universe aboard a spacecraft bound for Pluto.
25 September 2013, 01:54 PM ET
The 24 awardees represent a diverse group of scientists, artists, writers, academics and activists. Seager was selected for her groundbreaking exoplanet research, which has led to ever-better models of the atmospheres and interiors of alien worlds.
24 September 2013, 06:02 PM ET
The 1-ton Curiosity rover paused to examine a few rocks late last week, making the first of five planned science stops en route to the 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp. The break was fruitful, returning further signs of long-ago flowing water.
23 September 2013, 06:00 AM ET
Scientists have long debated the possibility of that the microbial seeds of life did not originate on Earth, but were perhaps delivered here from an alien source. A study finds new evidence to support the possibility of panspermia.
21 September 2013, 09:25 PM ET
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
21 September 2013, 10:21 AM ET
From Venus and the moon crashing a wedding photo to the milky way over an ancient temple, don't miss these stunning night sky and space from the last week.
20 September 2013, 05:55 AM ET
From microbes on meteorites to canals on Mars, here are five claims of "proof" for aliens.
20 September 2013, 05:30 AM ET
A team of British researchers says a cell fragment found high up in Earth's atmosphere likely came from outer space. But such an extraordinary claim requires much more convincing evidence, outside scientists say.
18 September 2013, 04:51 PM ET
Water, water everywhere, and some of it fit to drink. That’s the picture of ancient Mars that has emerged during the past few months thanks to discoveries by NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since August 2012.
16 September 2013, 06:01 AM ET
Alien moons around distant worlds may not be big enough to possess magnetic fields strong enough to protect extraterrestrial life from radiation that may blast it from deep space and nearby stars, researchers say.
15 September 2013, 10:16 AM ET
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
14 September 2013, 02:09 PM ET
From a stunning solar prominence to an aurora over finland, don't miss these stunning night sky photos by stargazers and readers.
14 September 2013, 10:32 AM ET
From a photobombing frog to a baseball-size meteor, don't miss these amazing space photos of the week for Sept. 14, 2013.
10 September 2013, 03:29 PM ET
A new model could indicate whether an exoplanet has a light but extended atmosphere, or a relatively thin and heavy atmosphere. This knowledge could help refine the targets in the search for planets like Earth capable of sustaining life.
08 September 2013, 03:07 PM ET
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
08 September 2013, 01:34 PM ET
From a spectacular reader photos of the LADEE launch to a dazzling fireball, don't miss these amazing space photos of the week for Sept. 8, 2013.
04 September 2013, 06:18 PM ET
MIT's Sara Seager talks about a new equation meant to help people think about the odds of finding signs of life on a distant planet in the next decade. The original Drake equation, drawn up in the 1960s, dealt only with intelligent alien life.
04 September 2013, 05:38 PM ET
A colossal storm that raged on Saturn in 2010 and 2011 churned water ice up from deep within the ringed planet's thick atmosphere. NASA's Cassini spacecraft detected the ice crystals from orbit, marking the first observation of water on the planet.
01 September 2013, 01:00 PM ET
A key chemical ingredient for life may have been more abundant on early Mars than on early Earth, researchers say.
01 September 2013, 08:56 AM ET
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
01 September 2013, 12:00 AM ET
See amazing images of the night sky and cosmos in's gallery of cosmic images posted in August 2013.
31 August 2013, 01:16 PM ET
From a meteor blazing over an ancient castle, to cloudy purple haze or a spectacular shot of a lunar fog bow, don't miss these stunning night sky photos by stargazers and readers.
29 August 2013, 08:20 AM ET
The 1-ton Curiosity rover used autonomous navigation for the first time on Tuesday. The robot will likely use this "autonav" capability more and more as it continues the long trek toward the base of Mars' huge Mount Sharp, NASA officials said.
28 August 2013, 06:05 PM ET
We may all be Martians. Evidence is building that Earth life originated on Mars and was brought to our planet aboard a meteorite, says biochemist Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida.
27 August 2013, 07:44 PM ET
Red dwarf stars, which weigh between 10 and 50 percent as much as our sun, are the most common stars in our galaxy. Previous studies have suggested that planets around such stars may be too dry for life, but new research is questioning that idea.
25 August 2013, 01:19 AM ET
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
24 August 2013, 11:41 AM ET
From amazing shots of the "Blue Moon" to a captivating new star explosion, don't miss these stunning night sky photos by stargazers and readers.
20 August 2013, 03:50 PM ET
Prior attempts to look for alien laser signals concentrated on isolated and intense bursts of light. Now scientists are focusing on repetitive but much fainter laser signals received over a longer amount of time.
20 August 2013, 06:53 AM ET
Astronomers have discovered a scorching-hot "lava world" whose year lasts just 8.5 hours and determined that another planet candidate is likely composed almost entirely of iron. Both worlds were spotted by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.