Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in...
More to explore: Earth life ‘may have come from Mars’ (BBC News) Maybe Mars Seeded Earth’s Life, Maybe It Didn’t (Scientific American Blog Network) China Plans Its First Unmanned Moon Landing This Year (New York Times) China to launch lunar probe for landing mission (Xinhua) NASA Data Reveals Mega-Canyon under Greenland Ice Sheet (NASA) Space [...]..
This week a major geochemistry conference heard an argument for life on Earth having originated on Mars, but does this hold up to scrutiny?
More to explore: Curiosity Catches Sight of Mars’ Moon Passing the Other (PsiVid) Latest SpaceX Rocket Test Successfully Goes Sideways (New York Times) Public Naming of Planets and Planetary Satellites: Reaching Out for Worldwide Recognitionwith the Help of the IAU [Pdf] (IAU) Around the World in Four Days: NASA Tracks Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume (NASA) Russian [...]..
This video depicts NASA’s Curiosity rover observing Mars’ two moons, then shows one moon passing in front of the other. Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, are thought to be asteroids captured in Mars’ gravitational field...
More to explore: Is There Life on Venus? (Scitable) Venus May Have Had Continents and Oceans (Nature News) (Scientific American is part of the Nature Publishing Group) Was Venus Alive?
Mars Curiosity Rover has captured our attention from the time it launched in November 2011 to the time it landed on August 5, 2012 in a very dramatic landing to now.
Links for the top five stories: The Other Blue Planet Neptune’s New Moon Sizing Up Neutron Stars Meteorite Reveals History of Mars’ Crust Black Hole Devours Cosmic Cloud
The Red Planet is frigid and possibly sterile, but its surface still sees plenty of action
NASA's beautiful collection of astromaterials is meticulously collected, catalogued and preserved for researchers to delve into the origins of our planet and the solar system
The Russian sample-return spacecraft will carry a zoo of microbes to Phobos and back to test whether life can survive the interplanetary journey
A Wet Run for a Dry Planet: NASA Tests Drilling Technology in the Desert with Mars Sample Return in Mind [Slide Show]
Despite a gummed up drill bit and three days of very un-Martian precipitation, engineers pronounced the test a success--and learned to expect the unexpected, whether it be in the California outback or on Mars...
For more than 40 years, missions throughout the solar system have sent back stunning images of our home planet
Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute sent an aquatic robot on a test run deep below the Pacific Ocean this summer
To see what extraterrestrial life might be like, scientists are busy studying freshwater coral reef–like structures in a Canadian lake
Annual contest held by Mars Society highlights robotic innovation and makes for some snazzy-looking rovers
Images from Mars's newest inhabitant document its quest for water
On other worlds, plants could be red, blue, even black
In pursuit of evidence that life arose on Earth more than once, scientists are searching for microbes that are radically different from all known organisms
Extended missions to the moon or Mars mean that astronauts may need improved medical care and even the ability to perform surgery in space