Relative sizes of planets that are in a zone potentially compatible with life: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f and Earth (named left to right; except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions).
The ancient question 'Are we alone?' has graduated from being a philosophical musing to a testable hypothesis. We should be prepared for an answer.
Scale models of rockets at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s booth at the International Astronautical Congress.
The space industry and global interest in all matters inter-planetary is growing.
An artist’s impression of `Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System.
ESA/Hubble, NASA, ESO, M. Kornmesser
We will never see 'Oumuamua again, and we may never know exactly what it is. But with the right kind of media coverage it could inspire some kids to take up a career in science.
Once people get there, Mars will be contaminated with Earth life.
NASA/Pat Rawlings, SAIC
NASA's InSight Mars lander touches down Nov. 26, part of a careful robotic approach to exploring the red planet. But human exploration of Mars will inevitably introduce Earth life. Are you OK with that?
Artist’s impression of the exoplanet Kepler-1625b with its large moon.
A moon has been spotted in a star system 4000 light years away – but its structure is confusing.
Pie in the sky? Mars Ice Home concept.
Elon Musk may be disappointed by recent studies threatening his plans to go to Mars, but planetary scientists are breathing a sigh of relief.
Nearly 50 years since the first man walked on the moon, our morals are still stranded on Earth.
How unique is our universe?
Jaime Salcido/Durham University
New research on parallel universes forces cosmologists to come to an uncomfortable conclusion.
Artist’s impression of the Europa clipper mission.
We could find evidence of life on Europa within a couple of decades.
Artist’s impression of Proxima b, a planet orbiting the star Proxima Centauri within the closest known star system outside of our solar system.
Using AI to search for ET might help us find things we couldn't even imagine we should look for, but to succeed we also have think critically about how we create and use that technology.
Mars seen by Curiosity.
NASA and ESA have signed a letter of intent to collect samples from Mars and return them to Earth.
An artist’s impression of `Oumuamua, assuming it’s a rock.
Scientists looking for signs of alien life from the mystery object passing through our Solar system say they've found nothing "so far".
Scientists used to think that the ocean on Enceladus would be transient, perhaps freezing after a few million years. A new study suggests this isn't the case.
Aliens are highly likely to undergo natural selection, shows new research.
The pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters
The belief that ancient Egyptians needed help from supernatural beings to built the Giza pyramids relies, unavoidably, on racism and colonial attitudes.
What message would you send to outer space?
Humanity is the real target for these recordings which continue to inspire us to better understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Hardy lifeforms such as tardigrades can survive almost anything.
Artist’s impression of Cassini ending its life as a fireball in Saturn’s atmosphere.
Cassini is about to crash into Saturn to avoid contaminating its habitable moon Enceladus.
This illustration shows Cassini diving through geyser plumes on Saturn’s the ocean world
moon of Enceladus.
Earth is a relatively dry planet compared to some of the other ocean worlds in our Solar system. Life needs water so what about life on these other places?
New findings make it hard to imagine a more important goal for solar system exploration than searching for microbial life in Enceladus' internal sea.