If you’re looking for life, you’d do well to look for some moons.
As the list of known planets beyond our solar system grows, the search for their moons is intensifying. One reason: they might hold the key to finding life elsewhere in the universe.
Gullies inside a Martian crater.
Have we been jumping to conclusions about water on Mars?
Latest observations suggest that cometary dust could be blocking light from strangely twinkling star.
Dust from pulverised comets rather than an alien megastructure could explain odd flicker of distant star.
Could this ever happen between close planetary neighbours?
New research gives a clue about what happens when there are two habitable worlds in the same solar system.
Gliese Cc: Artist’s impression of sunset on one of the most Earth-like exoplanets.
Is there another Earth out there? Certainly, there are a few contenders
The tail of a comet is the release of interplanetary dust.
Cosmic dust may have jump-started life on Earth as well as on distant planets.
Mars is not great for sunbathing anymore.
The solar wind has stripped Mars of its atmosphere, making it a lot less habitable than it once was.
Will Cassini find evidence of microbial life in the plumes from Enceladus? A new study has made it a whole lot easier.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Study pinpoints some of the chemical signs of microbial life on Enceladus. The study could in part be corroborated by Cassini's flyby of the moon.
Scientists can’t explain strange flickering from distant star.
The chance that Kepler has spotted construction of a Dyson sphere are very low but it could also be the ruins of such a structure.
Is this what we’re seeing around KIC 8462852 - a colossal megastructure built by alien intelligence? Probably not. The reality might be even more interesting.
There's a lot of speculation about a star behaving strangely in our galaxy. But even if it's not evidence of alien intelligence, it's sure to be an amazing discovery.
Unlike science fiction films featuring grotesque aliens and faraway galaxies, Ridley Scott’s The Martian depicts a sci-fi space mission that could soon be science fact.
20th Century Fox
NASA has set a target date of 2030 for a manned mission to Mars. With no real scientific breakthroughs needed, success depends on developing the proper technology.
The dark streaks on Mars’ hills will be a good place to look for life.
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Water on Mars could mean life on Mars. But how do we explore it without destroying it?
The mysterious ephemeral dark streaks on Mars.
New research suggests that salty water exists on Mars in the summer months. But that wouldn't be the first time we hear of water on the red planet. So what's new and what isn't?
A frozen lake of water-ice on the floor of a 35 km wide impact crater on Mars.
Copyright ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
Ice is everywhere in the solar system and there may even be liquid water beneath the surface of a number of planets. But could we ever get to it?
The 64-metre Parkes Radio telescope will be instrumental in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The Parkes radio telescope is part of the US$100 million search for life elsewhere in the universe, but the investment will also benefit other space research at The Dish.
Were eruptions of pressurised goundwater once commonplace on Mars?
For centuries, scientists have wondered how water channels on Mars formed. Our model suggests that they were caused by water erupting from subsurface lakes on the ancient planet.
An artist’s impression: MESSENGER flying over a colourful Mercury.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
It was the first probe to find water on Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. Its mission nearly over, MESSENGER is about to crash into the planet it's been observing.
An artist’s impression of the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets, Kepler-444.
Tiago Campante/Peter Devine, University of Birmingham
One of the crucial variables in calculating the likelihood that alien life exists elsewhere in our galaxy is the number of stars that possess planetary systems, and the proportion of those planets that…
Artist’s impression of the planet Kepler 62-f which could lie in the habitable zone of its host star 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra.
More than 1,000 exoplanets have now been discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope, announced NASA this month, and the figure continues to climb. Three of the newly confirmed Kepler planets are thought…
Artist’s impression of an Earth-sized planet in the Kepler 186 system. But what makes one planet more habitable than another?
NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech
When it comes to finding the right kind of planet to target in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, the size of the planet matters. All planets are believed to form by a process of competitive…