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The Impact that Shattered Santa Fe
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
A large meteorite impact can have a profound effect on life. The explosive force is often compared to a nuclear detonation, and the debris tossed high into the atmosphere can alter our planet´s climate. In the mountains of New Mexico, scientists have found evidence for an ancient meteorite strike -- even though the impact crater is long gone.

Diving Robot Discovers Life in the Slow Lane
Topic: Extreme Life
Scientists have found amazingly diverse microbial life in the world's deepest water-filled sinkhole, even down where sunlight can't reach. The discovery adds new insight into life´s ability to thrive in Earth´s most extreme environments. This research also could aid the search for life elsewhere in our solar system, such as on Jupiter´s moon Europa.

Life after Catastrophe
Topic: Extreme Life
Scientists studying deep-sea hydrothermal vents have found that larvae travel hundreds of miles to re-colonize these harsh locations after a volcanic eruption. The new study could challenge existing beliefs about how life adapts to extreme environments.

Greening the Moon and Mars
Topic: Moon to Mars
Future missions to the Moon or Mars could use plants as bio-harvesters to extract valuable elements from the alien soils.

Odds for Life Better in Photosynthesis Zones
Topic: Alien Life
By calculating where photosynthesis might be possible around the galaxy, scientists are developing a new way to figure out where Earth-like planets with life might be located.

Tiny Satellites for Big Science
Topic: Missions
The shrinking technology of cell phones, laptops and cameras are now leading to palm-sized satellites. Easy to build and affordable, these small satellites offer a new way to conduct astrobiology research. They also could change the way we explore the universe.

Recipes for Renegade Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Recent discoveries of gas giant planets in unusual orbits challenge the generally accepted theory of planet formation. While these discoveries do not disprove the theory, they have opened our eyes to chaotic solar systems quite unlike our own.

Hunting for Fossils on Europa
Topic: Europa
Jupiter's moon Europa has a salty ocean where life could exist. A thick ice shell separates the ocean from our exploration vehicles, and it´s not known how far down we´d need to drill. But why drill at all, when evidence for life could be lying right on the surface?

The Chance for Life on Io
Topic: Jupiter System
Jupiter´s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Could it also be a habitat for life?

Drilling Down into Mars
Topic: Mars
NASA´s Phoenix lander revealed water ice mere inches beneath the martian surface, and chemical evidence from the landing site strongly hints that the region is habitable. But learning whether there is life in martian ice will require drilling — and drilling on Mars will be anything but easy.
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