Astronauts dream of finding new life and for a select crew that dream might be within reach this week - albeit deep underground instead of in outer space.
An international crew of six astronauts will start training for a caving adventure designed to prepare them for spaceflight.
Alvin extends its mechanical arm to a high-temperature black smoker at Endeavor Segment. Credit: Bruce Strickrott/WHOI. Larger image
By some estimates, a third of Earth's organisms live in our planet's rocks and sediments, yet their lives are almost a complete mystery. This week, the work of microbiologist James Holden of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and colleagues shines a light into this dark world.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected light emanating from a "super-Earth" planet beyond our solar system for the first time. While the planet is not habitable, the detection is a historic step toward the eventual search for signs of life on other planets.
The latest images released from ESA's Mars Express reveal a series of 'pit-chains' on the flanks of one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System. Depending on their origin, they might be tempting targets in the search for microbial life on the Red Planet.
This artist's impression shows a sunset seen from the super-Earth Gliese 667 Cc. The brightest star in the sky is the red dwarf Gliese 667 C.