Astronomers suspect the Sun’s closest stellar neighbor desiccated its potentially rocky exoplanet, destroying the planet’s chances for habitability.
From the discovery of gravitational waves to the building evidence that a massive planet could exist beyond Pluto, it has been a thrilling year for astronomy research. We recap.
Curiosity scientists have tracked Gale Crater’s changing environment as it became more, then less, acidic over millions of years. Microbial life could have survived in these conditions.
Observations confirm that the closest star to our solar system has a regular magnetic cycle similar to our Sun.
The discovery of a chiral molecule in space has the potential to sort out one of the biggest mysteries in the chemistry of life.
NASA’s Mars orbiter MAVEN has painted a detailed picture of how the solar wind robs the Red Planet of its atmosphere.
On October 28th, the Cassini spacecraft took its deepest dive through the water plume spewing from the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. It passed only 30 miles (50 kilometers) above the icy surface.
The Kepler spacecraft recorded a bunch of irregular dimmings around one of its target stars, designated KIC 8462852. No natural phenomenon explains the dips well.
Scientists have confirmed that water-soaked salts likely create dark seasonal lines on Mars.
A $100 million donation will radically speed up the search for artificial signals from the nearest million stars — and from trillions of much farther stars in the 100 nearest galaxies.
Scientists have detected glass in Martian craters, created by the fierce heat of impacts that melted the Red Planet’s surface.
This year’s April Fools' provides a wealth of alarming results. Catch up on all the scientific shenanigans here.
A new map of Beta Pictoris reveals an asymmetric clump of carbon monoxide likely produced in cometary collisions. It provides a rare glimpse at the chaotic birth of a planetary system.
A new analysis of data from spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet suggests that gigantic calderas lie disguised on the planet’s surface. If the features are volcanoes, they could help explain the mysterious, fine-grain debris that coats Mars.
For 40 years astrobiologists have wrestled with how to make the early Earth warm enough to support life even though the young Sun was at least 30% fainter than it is now. New climate models, powered by supercomputers, are converging on a solution.
The results from the Curiosity rover's first rock-drilling are in: the rock formed in the presence of fairly neutral, not-too-salty water and has a chemical makeup that might have provided energy for microorganisms.
Astronomers had thought that ice on the Saturnian moon's methane-ethane seas would sink. But a new study suggests that, if the right conditions are met, ice could actually float on this alien-Earth world.
NASA's Kepler space observatory is finally achieving its goal of finding many Earth-size exoplanets with surface temperatures suitable for liquid water — and thus potentially habitable.
An international team of scientists has teased apart the secrets hidden inside a meteorite from Mars, including signs that the rock weathered acidic water while on the Red Planet.
Astronomers have detected a simple sugar called glycolaldehyde in the gas around two young stars. The ALMA observations that led to the discovery are impressive, but don’t jump on the “life” bandwagon just yet.
Waves don't grow much — if at all — on Saturn's moon Titan. However, the calm lakes and seas might see some surface wrinkles in a few years when the northern hemisphere's summer arrives.
This week’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union brought together a variety of interesting science results, from water on Mars to the Sun’s effect on the Moon’s surface. Here’s a selection of curiosities for your perusing pleasure.
The hits just keep on coming for NASA's Kepler spacecraft. Today mission scientists announced that they've identified a thousand more candidate planets around other stars. One is Kepler-22 b, a world somewhat larger than Earth where you likely could walk around in shirtsleeve temperatures.
Although funding has eroded for SETI@home and the Allen Telescope Array in the past few years, both alien-hunting projects have survived, thanks to donors and volunteers.
A dash of this and a pinch of that — slow cooked with water inside an asteroid — could have yielded a rich and diverse soup of organic matter. That's the remarkable new finding from careful analysis of the super-primitive Tagish Lake meteorite.