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Astrobiology Top 10: Voyager 1 Officially Reaches Interstellar Space
Topic: Outer Solar System
01/02/14
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 1, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially became the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. (Originally published on 09/15/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Where Life Could Thrive: Interview With John Grotzinger
Topic: Mars
01/01/14
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 2, John Grotzinger, project scientists for Curiosity, talks about how the mission showed that conditions at its landing site may have once been suitable for life. (Originally published on 03/21/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: The Russian Meteorite
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/31/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 3 is the object that entered Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated over Siberia on February 15th.

Astrobiology Top 10: MAVEN Launched to Study Upper Atmosphere of Mars
Topic: Mars
12/30/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 4 is the launch of a NASA mission that will investigate how Mars lost its atmosphere and abundant liquid water. (Originally published on 11/19/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: The Oldest Signs of Life on Earth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/29/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 5 is the discovery of microbial life signs in rocks 3.48 billion years old--possibly the oldest signs of life on Earth. (Originally published on 11/14/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Exoplanets: 1,000 and Counting
Topic: New Planets
12/28/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 6 is the expansion of the Extrasolar Planets Catalog to now over 1,000 planets. The milestone was reached October 22, and their current count of planets discovered beyond our solar system now sits at 1,010. (Originally published on 10/25/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Astrobiology in the Fold
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/27/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 7, astrobiologists had revealed new information about the structure of RNA molecules found in the ribosome of cells. (Originally published on 10/07/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Dwarf Planet Ceres – 'A Game Changer in the Solar System'
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/26/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 8 is NASA's Dawn mission upcoming investigation of the icy dwarf planet Ceres. The closest frozen body to Earth, Ceres may be as promising when it comes to hosting life than the more distant moons of the gas giants. (Originally published on 08/28/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: NASA Selects Exoplanet Satellite for Next Explorer-Class Mission
Topic: Missions
12/25/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 9, NASA's Astrophysics Explorer Program has selected two missions for launch in 2017. One of the missions is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which will use an array of telescopes to search for transiting exoplanets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants. (Originally published on 04/10/13)

Astrobiology Top 10: Astronomers Anticipate 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/24/13
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 10, researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets--a method that could identify as many as 100 billion extrasolar worlds. (Originally published on 04/05/13)

'Father of SETI' at NASA, John Billingham
Topic: Alien Life
08/07/13
John Billingham, former Chief of the Biotechnology Division at NASA Ames and a founder of the NASA SETI program, passed away on August 3rd. He was 83 years old.

The Curious History of the Lyrid Meteor Shower
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
04/23/13
A shower of meteors known as the Lyrid meteors happens on Earth every year at around this time in April. In recent years, we've only received a moderate shower, but that wasn't always the case according to records of the Lyrids that date back 2,600 years.

Astrobiology Top 10: Curiosity In It for the Long Haul
Topic: Mars
01/02/13
In the top story of 2012, NASA achieves success at Mars with the landing of the Curiosity rover. Curiosity's first successful drive across the martian landscape was cause for celebration, and we took pause to reflect on MSL's long-term goals. (Originally published on 08/27/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: A Super-Earth in the Habitable Zone of a Six-Planet System
Topic: New Planets
01/01/13
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 2, researchers announced the discovery of a new super-Earth planet in the habitable zone of a nearby star dubbed HD 40307. (Orignally published on 11/07/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: Meteorite Provides Clues to Mars
Topic: Mars
12/31/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 3, scientists announced that the Tissint meteorite showed evidence that it interacted with water on the martian surface before it made its long journey to Earth. (Originally published 10/14/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: Mars Rover Starts its 9th Year
Topic: Mars
12/30/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 4, NASA's Opportunity rover continued to make discoveries as it began an incredible 9th year of science operations on Mars. (Originally published 05/01/2012)

Astrobiology Top 10: Breaking Through the Ice at Lake Vostok
Topic: Extreme Life
12/29/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 5, a team of Russian scientists announced that, after more than 15 years of stop-and-go drilling, they had drilled through the ice of Antarctica's Lake Vostok. (Originally published on 02/16/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: Kepler Catalog Adds More Planet Candidates
Topic: New Planets
12/28/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 6, the Kepler team released a new catalog containing 1,091 candidate planets, including some that could be smaller than twice the size of Earth. (Originally published on 03/10/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: CERN Finds the Higgs Boson?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/27/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 7, preliminary results in the search for the Higgs boson were announced. The sub-atmoic particle could be key to understanding how the Universe began and explaining the existence of life. (Originally published on 07/06/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: Titan's Subsurface Ocean
Topic: Titan
12/26/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 8, scientists revealed that Saturn's moon Titan likely harbors a layer of liquid water under its shell. The findings could have implications in the search for life in our solar system. (Originally published on 07/04/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: Dawn Reveals Secrets of Vesta's History
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/25/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 9, NASA reported that the Dawn spacecraft had revealed the varied surface composition, sharp temperature changes, and clues about the internal structure of the asteroid Vesta. (Originally published on 04/28/12)

Astrobiology Top 10: The Transit of Venus
Topic: Venus
12/24/12
As 2012 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 10, scientists watched a rare transit of Venus as it crossed the face of the Sun. Why has Venus been an object worthy of ogling for hundreds of centuries? (Originally published 06/06/2012)

The Flight of Friendship 7
Topic: Missions
07/26/12
Fifty years ago, American astronaut John Glenn was launched into Earth orbit.

O, Pioneers! (part 2): The Derelicts of Space
Topic: Missions
03/05/12
Before the Pioneer 11 spacecraft could venture beyond our solar system, it had to pass through the rings of Saturn. At the time, the rings were not well characterized and some thought the spacecraft could be destroyed. Whatever happened to Pioneer 11 at Saturn's rings would affect the flight plan of the Voyager spacecraft.

O, Pioneers! (part 1): The Motes in Gods Eye
Topic: Missions
02/27/12
March 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of one of the most extraordinary spacecraft ever constructed - Pioneer 10 - the first true deep space probe.

Astrobiology Top 10: Mars Mission Lifts Off
Topic: Mars
01/02/12
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. In the top story of the year, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and its Curiosity rover blast off on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The historic astrobiology mission is now heading to Mars.

Astrobiology Top 10: Kepler's Haul of Multiple-Planet Systems
Topic: New Planets
01/01/12
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number two, within just four months of data from NASA's Kepler mission, astronomers find evidence for more than 1,200 planetary candidates. Of those, 408 reside in systems with two or more planets. (Originally published 05/24/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: Water Flows on the Surface of Mars
Topic: Mars
12/31/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number three, observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars. The findings could have implications in the study of potential habitats for life on Mars. (Originally published 08/05/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: Where Europa's Ocean & Ice Meet
Topic: Europa
12/30/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number four, scientists find evidence of giant, shallow lakes beneath the surface of Europa. Data suggests that there is an exchange of materials between Europa's icy shell and the moon's subsurface ocean - bolstering arguments that Europa could support habitats for life. (Originally published 11/11/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: The Lure of the High Frontier
Topic: Missions
12/29/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number five, NASA launched the final space shuttle mission. This retrospective essay provides a personal view of Shuttle´s first launch -- STS-1 -- over thirty years ago. (Originally published 07/07/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: Lost Spirit
Topic: Mars
12/28/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number six, NASA ends operational planning activities for the Mars rover Spirit. This marked the end of one of the most successful missions of interplanetary exploration ever launched. (Originally published 05/27/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: The Future for Space Missions
Topic: Missions
12/27/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number seven, the National Research Council releases a long-anticipated report that recommends a suite of flagship missions for exploring the solar system in the next decade. (Originally published 03/09/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: Messages from Mercury
Topic: Mercury
12/26/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number eight, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft returns a wealth of surprising data from the tiny planet Mercury. (Originally published 10/12/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: A New Dawn for Vesta
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/25/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. At number nine, NASA's Dawn spacecraft enters into orbit around the asteroid Vesta on Friday, July 15. (Originally published 07/16/2011)

Astrobiology Top 10: NASA's Juno Mission Launches
Topic: Jupiter System
12/24/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2011. We begin with NASA's Juno spacecraft, which began its journey to the Jupiter system on August 5th. (Originally published 08/04/2011 and 08/05/2011)

Evolutionary Biology Pioneer Lynn Margulis Has Died
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
11/25/11
Internationally renowned evolutionary biologist and author Lynn Margulis, a Distinguished University Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a National Medal of Science recipient, died Nov. 22 at her home in Amherst. She was 73.

Mars: How Watery a World?
Topic: Mars
11/03/11
If Mars ever had oceans, lakes or rivers, then it may also have had life as we know it. Indications of liquid water on the Red Planet have tantalized scientists for well over a century.

Tracing the Canals of Mars
Topic: Mars
10/06/11
Images of Mars taken from orbiting spacecraft suggest water may periodically appear on the planet´s surface. Over 100 years ago, Percival Lowell thought the "canals" on Mars were evidence of global engineering by an advanced race of Martians.

The Lure of the High Frontier
Topic: Missions
07/07/11
The countdown for the launch of the final Space Shuttle mission begins tomorrow. This retrospective essay provides a personal view of Shuttle´s first launch -- STS-1 -- over thirty years ago.

Lifting to Space
Topic: Missions
02/03/11
This year, NASA will launch its final Space Shuttle missions. The development of the Shuttle had sprung from the supersonic rocket planes of Chuck Yeager, and was an answer to the question: what is the best way to send man into space?

The Brotherhood of Speed
Topic: Missions
01/31/11
This year, NASA will launch its final Space Shuttle missions. The development of the Shuttle had sprung from the supersonic rocket planes of Chuck Yeager, and was an answer to the question: what is the best way to send man into space?

Revelations about Galileo, Bruno, and Aliens
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
01/17/11
The Catholic Church and scientists have a history of clashing, but according to Vatican astronomers, some of the stories of Church persecution are distortions of the truth – more gossip than Gospel.

Astrobiology Top 10: Life Built on Arsenic
Topic: Extreme Life
01/02/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. The top story of the year was NASA's announcement of a bacterium that appears able to use arsenic instead of phosphorus in its DNA. The discovery may change the definition of life on Earth, and has stirred up much debate. (Originally published 12/02/2010 and 12/18/2010)

Astrobiology Top 10: Discovery of Habitable Alien World?
Topic: New Planets
01/01/11
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. At number 2 is the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting in its star's "habitable zone." Following the announcement, doubts were raised about whether the new planet really exists. (Originally published 09/30/10 and 10/12/10)

Astrobiology Top 10: Hayabusa's Harvest
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/31/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. At number 3, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirms that the Hayabusa spacecraft has successfully returned samples from the asteroid Itokawa. (Originally published 11/21/2010)

Astrobiology Top 10: Close Encounter with Comet Hartley 2
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/30/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. At number 4 is the flyby of comet Hartley 2 by NASA's EPOXI spacecraft. The images it captured show a peanut-shaped nucleus with many jets of gas spewing from its surface. (Originally published 11/05/2010

Astrobiology Top 10: Trapped Rover Finds Evidence of Water on Mars
Topic: Mars
12/29/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. At number 5 is evidence from NASA's Spirit rover that water trickled into the subsurface of Mars fairly recently. (Originally published 10/30/2010)

Astrobiology Top 10: Viking Results Revisited
Topic: Mars
12/28/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 6 are the experiments prompted by a surprise from NASA´s Phoenix Mars Lander suggesting that soil examined by NASA´s Viking Mars landers in 1976 may have contained carbon-based chemical building blocks of life. (Originally published 9/4/2010).

Astrobiology Top 10: First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analyzed
Topic: New Planets
12/27/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 7 is the first analysis of the atmosphere of a super-Earth orbiting a distant star. Observations suggest that the atmosphere is mostly water in the form of steam, thick clouds or hazes. (Originally published 12/02/2010).

Astrobiology Top 10: More Money, and a New Path to the Stars
Topic: Moon to Mars
12/26/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 8, the cancellation of the Constellation program and NASA's new plans to work with commercial space developers in order to maintain human access to space. (Originally published 2/2/2010).

Astrobiology Top 10: Getting WISE About Nemesis
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/25/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 9 is a story about how NASA's WISE telescope could settle the argument about whether our Sun has a companion star (nicknamed 'Nemesis.') (Originally published 3/11/2010).

Astrobiology Top 10: Tracking Viruses Back in Time
Topic: Extreme Life
12/24/10
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 10 is a study that could one day help scientists determine how long viruses have existed on Earth. (Originally published on September 06, 2010).

Houston, We´ve Had a Conference!
Topic: Missions
05/10/10
The 2010 Astrobiology Science Conference was a wild rodeo of ideas, debates, and scientific discovery. Although there was far too much science presented over four days to cover in full, this round-up provides a few highlights.

The Magical Mystery Tour
Topic: Saturn
05/03/10
Cassini, the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, has revealed intricate details of the gas giant planet and its moons -- but many mysteries remain.

Cassini Saturnalia
Topic: Saturn
04/26/10
Six years ago, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft began orbiting Saturn. Scientists are celebrating the data and detailed images the mission has provided of the planet, its famous rings, and its many moons.

The Shoulders of Giants
Topic: Moon to Mars
02/08/10
America´s ambition to explore space has not come without a human cost. The decisions being made today about our future in space depend on lessons learned from past tragedies.

Astrobiology Top 10: LCROSS Confirms Water on the Moon
Topic: Moon to Mars
01/02/10
AM is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. Our top story of the year was the discovery of large amounts of water ice on the Moon. The water will be a vital resource for astronauts as NASA develops a permanent lunar outpost. (This story originally was published on November 15, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Europa First
Topic: Europa
01/01/10
AM is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. At number 2 is the announcement of the next mission to the outer solar system: Jupiter´s icy moon Europa. Astrobiologists hope to investigate the ocean of Europa for evidence of alien life. (Originally was published on February 20, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Starlight, Star Bright
Topic: New Planets
12/31/09
AM is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2009. At number 3 is the launch of Kepler, a new NASA telescope that will aid in finding extrasolar planets. Scientists are already looking beyond Kepler for the next generation of telescopes that could show alien worlds in greater detail. (Originally was published on March 09, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Too Salty to Freeze
Topic: Mars
12/30/09
AM is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. At number 4 is evidence of liquid water droplets forming on the leg of the Phoenix lander. Scientist had assumed ice turned directly into water vapor on Mars' surface, but the water droplets on Phoenix tell a different tale. (Originally was published on March 20, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Reanimating Extinct Genes
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/29/09
AM is looking back over 2009, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. Our story number 5 is about research to insert ancient genes into modern bacteria. Will the bacteria evolve the same way it did in the past, or will it take an entirely new path? (This story originally was published on April 27, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Double Discovery: Super-Earth and Ocean World
Topic: New Planets
12/28/09
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2009, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is a double discovery of potentially habitable extrasolar planets orbiting the star Gliese 581. (This story originally was published on April 23, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Searching for Alien Life, on Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
12/27/09
AM is looking back over the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. At number 7 is a story about research conducted at Mono Lake, near Yosemite National Park. With one of the highest natural concentrations of arsenic on Earth, this spot is a good place to look for "alien" life. (Originally was published on October 5, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Glycine in the Grid
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/26/09
AM is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. At number 8 is a report that the amino acid glycine was found in samples from a comet. This supports the theory that some of the ingredients for life were delivered to the Earth by comet and meteorite impacts. (This story originally was published on August 19, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Astrometry Finally Finds a Planet
Topic: New Planets
12/25/09
Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 9 is a story about astrometry, a technique to find extrasolar planets. After 50 years, astrometry spots its first planet - a milestone that could have implications for the proposed NASA mission SIM Lite. (This story originally was published on June 02, 2009).

Astrobiology Top 10: Hot Debate over Icy Moon
Topic: Enceladus
12/24/09
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2009, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 10 is a debate about icy plumes emanating from Saturn´s tiny moon, Enceladus. Are the plumes evidence that the moon could have a liquid water ocean beneath the ice? (This story originally was published on October 08, 2009).

Scattering the Seeds of Life
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
02/05/09
Some astrobiologists think life may have arrived on Earth inside a comet or meteorite. Calling this process "Panspermia" is misguided, says a historian who has studied the evolution of thought about life´s origin.

Early Attempts to Contact Aliens
Topic: Alien Life
01/29/09
The idea that we Earthlings may not be alone is not new, nor is the idea of trying to signal our cosmic neighbors. The first era of interplanetary communication began in the 19th century.

Astrobiology Top 10: Liquid Water in the Martian North? Maybe.
Topic: Mars
01/02/09
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. The top story is NASA´s Phoenix mission. The lander arrived on Mars on May 25, and it conducted several tests of the martian soil and atmosphere. One surprising discovery was the presence of the chemical compound perchlorate in the soil.

Astrobiology Top 10: Seeing a Distant Planet
Topic: New Planets
01/01/09
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 2 is the first visible-light photograph of an extrasolar planet. The planet is about the size of Jupiter, and scientists believe that the system in which it resides could harbor more worlds (This story originally was published on November 15, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Organic Brew on Enceladus
Topic: Enceladus
12/31/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 3 is the discovery of water and organic chemicals on Saturn´s moon, Enceladus. If this tiny moon has liquid water and organic chemistry, could it also have life? (This story originally was published on March 29, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: The Spark of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/30/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 4 is a re-examination of samples from a classic 'origin-of-life' experiment. The finding is that volcanoes may have played an important role in life's beginnings on Earth. (This story originally was published on October 19, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Titan's Ethane Lake
Topic: Titan
12/29/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 5 is the confirmation that Saturn´s moon Titan has lakes. This makes Titan the only world in our solar system other than Earth to have liquid on its surface – although on Titan the lakes are made of hydrocarbons rather than water. (This story originally was published on August 03, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Looking for Life on Mars -- in a Canadian Lake
Topic: Missions
12/28/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is an expedition to Pavilion Lake in British Columbia. Researchers brought a pair of miniature submarines to the lake to find out if bacteria were involved in building some of the most unusual carbonate formations on Earth. (This story originally was published on September 08, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Earth's Mineral Evolution
Topic: Geology
12/27/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 7 is research that shows minerals on Earth have co-evolved with life. Up to two-thirds of known minerals can be linked to biological activity, highlighting the important connection between the biosphere and geology. (This story originally was published on November 14, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Through a Glass Darkly
Topic: Extreme Life
12/26/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 8 is the possibility that ancient microbes may have lived in volcanic rock, feeding off of elements contained within their glassy home. (This story originally was published in Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition on August 18, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Life is Lonely at the Center of the Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
12/25/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 9 is the story of Desulforudis audaxviator, a bacterium that lives in total darkness. Scientists now have discovered it also lives in complete isolation. Almost all organisms on Earth live in interdependent communities, but the lonely D. audaxviator proves it's possible for life to go solo. (This story originally was published on October 11, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Ancient Footprints in the Salt
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
12/24/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 10 is the discovery of ancient organism remnants preserved in salt crystals. The surprising finding could help astrobiologists search for signs of life on other planets. (This story originally was published on July 31, 2008).

Arthur C. Clarke, A Visionary Astrobiologist
Topic: Moon to Mars
06/30/08
This retrospective highlights Arthur C. Clarke´s influence on space travel, space exploration, and astrobiology.

The Astrobiology Universe
Topic: Missions
04/28/08
The Astrobiology Science Conference, recently held in Santa Clara, California, was a complex universe teeming with topics and ideas. Although there were far too many interesting presentations to cover in full, this overview provides a few highlights.

Astrobiology Top 10: Astronomers Find Habitable Earth-like Planet
Topic: New Planets
01/02/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 1 is the announcement that astronomers had found a habitable Earth-like world in another solar system. Since this discovery, some have said the planet may have a runaway greenhouse effect and therefore would not be habitable. Even if true, there is another planet in the same system that could possibly support life as we know it. (This story was originally published on April 25, 2007.)

Astrobiology Top 10: Phoenix Takes Flight
Topic: Mars
01/01/08
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 2 is the launch of Phoenix, NASA´s latest mission to Mars. Phoenix will land in the planet´s northern polar region In May of 2008, and look for signs of past habitability. (This story was originally published on September 3, 2007.)

Astrobiology Top 10: COROT Sets its Sights on the Stars
Topic: New Planets
12/31/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 3 is the COROT space telescope. Launched in late December of 2006, COROT opened its telescope eye in January and detected its first extrasolar planet in May. Scientists hope COROT will find small rocky worlds similar to the Earth orbiting other stars.

Astrobiology Top 10: Robot Dives Deep for Sinkhole Slime
Topic: Missions
12/30/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 4 is DEPTHX, an underwater robot capable of navigating without human control. Developing such autonomous vehicles can help us better explore remote places on Earth, and will be necessary if we want to ever search for life in the distant ocean on Europa. (This story was originally published on June 25, 2007.)

Astrobiology Top 10: What Lies Beneath
Topic: Mars
12/29/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 5 is an inventory of the frozen water in the south pole of Mars. Knowing how much water is on Mars can help scientists better understand the planet´s potential for supporting life in the past, present and future. (This story was originally published on March 19, 2007.)

Astrobiology Top 10: When Fungi Ruled the World
Topic: Extreme Life
12/28/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is the discovery that 420 million years ago, fungi stood as tall as trees, reaching up to 20 feet in height.

Astrobiology Top 10: STONEs in Space
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/27/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 7 is scientific evidence against the Panspermia hypothesis, which says life could travel from planet to planet on meteorites. An experiment by European scientists shows that photosynthetic life probably would not survive the journey.

Astrobiology Top 10: Brought Back to Life
Topic: Extreme Life
12/26/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 8 is the recovery of DNA from ancient microorganisms. The DNA showed an "exponential decline" after 1.1 million years, indicating how long DNA could be preserved in rocks in cold places.

Astrobiology Top 10: The Baptistina Breakup
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/25/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 9 is a story about a breakup event in the main asteroid belt. This event produced the impactor that hit Earth 65 million years ago, ending the age of the dinosaurs and having a profound effect on the evolution of life as we know it.

Astrobiology Top 10: Dawn Rising
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/24/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 10 is the launch of the Dawn mission. The spacecraft will visit Vesta and Ceres, two large asteroid belt objects that have been witness to much of our solar system´s history.(This story was originally published on September 27, 2007).

30 Rings on the Tree of Life
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
10/19/07
Thirty years ago this month, researchers identified the unique domain of life known as archaea. These organisms inhabit some of the harshest environments on Earth, and astrobiologists study many of them as analogs for how life might survive on other planets.

Voyager at 30
Topic: Missions
09/09/07
The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are celebrating their 30th anniversary this fall. They are now approaching the edge of the Solar System, continuing to collect scientific data and carrying their famous golden records – which contain sounds and images of Earth – into interstellar space.

Life of a Comet Hunter
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
07/16/07
The name Messier is synonymous with the deep sky. Charles Messier, an 18th century French astronomer, changed the course of astronomy with his catalogue of "Star Clusters and Nebulae", as well as the discovery of over 20 comets. But what did Messier make of the alien life debate?

French Tales of Infinity
Topic: Alien Life
07/02/07
From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is an investigation of the life and writings of Camille Flammarion, a nineteenth century French astronomer who had a lasting impact on science and science fiction.

The Dreadful Hammers of Jules Verne
Topic: Geology
06/07/07
In the nineteenth century, the new science of geology was greatly affected by technological innovations. From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is an essay about how Jules Verne used his novels, such as "Journey to the Centre of the Earth," to explore the latest geological findings.

Darwin's Bulldog and the Time Machine
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
01/29/07
From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition comes a story of a now legendary meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Oxford. On 30 June 1860, Darwin´s Bulldog, Thomas Huxley, strode into the meeting and faced a large and eager audience. His opponent for the evening was Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford -- a fervent public speaker who was nicknamed Soapy Sam for his habit of rubbing his hands together as he sermonised. But Wilberforce was about to meet his match.

Copernicus and the Wild Goose Chase
Topic: Moon to Mars
01/11/07
From "Astrobiology Magazine, European edition" is a story that describes the first science fiction stage play. It's a rainy day in London, April 1706. A gentleman eager to impress his lady decides to take her to the opera. Once seated in the theatre they are delighted by an extravagant show which features flying geese on wires, a Spanish gentleman of indiscriminate morality, and giant lunar royalty.

Astrobiology Top 10: Water Flows on Mars
Topic: Mars
01/07/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. The number 1 story is the discovery of possible water flows on the surface of Mars within the past seven years. The new finding increases the potential for microbial life on Mars. (This article originally appeared on December 7, 2006.)

Astrobiology Top 10: Stardust
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/06/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 2 is the successful return of the Stardust capsule back to Earth. The spacecraft had flown halfway to Jupiter to collect samples of interstellar dust and particles from the comet Wild 2.

Astrobiology Top 10: Water on Enceladus?
Topic: Enceladus
01/05/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 3 is the discovery of what may be a reservoir of liquid water on Saturn´s icy moon, Enceladus. If true, it would broaden the diversity of solar system environments where there are conditions suitable for life. (This article originally appeared on March 10, 2006.)

Astrobiology Top 10: MRO
Topic: Mars
01/04/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 4 is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Now in a stable orbit around Mars, this spacecraft has started to send us stunningly detailed images of the Red Planet (including spotting the Mars Rovers hard at work!).

Astrobiology Top 10: Mars Rovers
Topic: Mars
01/03/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 5 is the continuing mission of the Mars Exploration Rovers. They have been investigating the Red Planet for nearly three years, an astounding achievement considering their 90-day warranty.

Astrobiology Top 10: Icy Super Earth
Topic: New Planets
01/02/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is the discovery of an icy "Super Earth." Astronomers have found over 200 planets orbiting other stars, but most of them are more massive than the planet Jupiter.

Astrobiology Top 10: Getting to Know Titan
Topic: Titan
01/01/07
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 7 is the Cassini spacecraft´s continuing investigations of Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists knew Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building blocks of life.

Astrobiology Top 10: Venus Express
Topic: Venus
12/31/06
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 8 is the arrival of ESA´s Venus Express spacecraft at the planet Venus. While the conditions on Venus are too hostile for life as we know it, learning about our nearest neighbor can teach us a great deal about planetary habitability.

Astrobiology Top 10: New Horizons
Topic: Outer Solar System
12/30/06
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of a very eventful year. At number 9 is the launch of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. By visiting Pluto and its neighbors in the Kuiper Belt, scientists hope to learn more about the history if the solar system and its potential for life. (This article originally appeared on January 19, 2006.)

Astrobiology Top 10: MGS Bows Out
Topic: Mars
12/29/06
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 10 is the end of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. Among the many findings over its long lifetime is evidence for past liquid water on the surface of Mars, increasing the odds that life could have existed there.

James Van Allen and Astrobiology
Topic: Spaceship Earth
11/13/06
In a lifetime devoted to instrumentation and rocket science, James Van Allen made immense contributions to the exploration of the space environment and its astrobiological potential.

A New Mars
Topic: Mars
08/28/06
At the recent thirtieth anniversary celebration of the Viking mission, Gentry Lee discussed the excitement of landing on Mars for the first time, and how far We´ve come in our exploration of Mars since then.

A View Back at Viking
Topic: Mars
07/22/06
Thirty years after the first successful landing on Mars by NASA's Viking spacecraft, the ambitious mission continues to evoke pride and enthusiasm for future space exploration.

Top Ten 2005 Astrobiology Stories
Topic: Missions
01/05/06
Astrobiology Magazine compiled its list of top ten stories for 2005. Exploration of Mars and Saturn was among the highlights in a review of astrobiology advances over the last twelve months in our own solar system and beyond.

Science Year in Review
Topic: Moon to Mars
02/03/05
The 2004 list of NASA science milestones highlight the search for water on Mars and the first lander to reach the moon on another planet. The successes of robotic explorers returned stunning images from the surface of distant worlds.

A Marvelous Sense of Theater
Topic: Mars
01/29/05
In this multipart series on the twin Viking landers that pioneered surface imagery and exploration on Mars, the events leading to the first and tense rocket-powered landing of Viking I are described.

Opportunity Knocks
Topic: Mars
01/08/05
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number one in this countdown was the Opportunity rover exploring Mars.

Clash of the Titans
Topic: Saturn
01/07/05
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number two in this countdown was the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its Earth-like moon, Titan.

New Worlds, Living Large
Topic: New Planets
01/04/05
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number three in this countdown was the remarkable progress in discovering new planets in other solar systems.

Spirit on the Lake
Topic: Mars
01/02/05
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number four in this countdown was the Spirit mission to Mars.

Catching a Comet
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/31/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number five in this countdown was the Stardust mission and its capture of comet dust for Earth return.

Planetoids Beyond Pluto
Topic: Outer Solar System
12/30/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number six in this countdown was the discovery of potential heat sources for ice beyond Pluto, an important finding if water is considered the key ingredient to understanding biological probabilities elsewhere in the solar system.

Mysterious Martian Methane
Topic: Mars
12/29/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number seven in this countdown was the startling detection of methane on Mars. Since methane concentrations would fall dramatically after only 300 years, some source of replenishing this gas is needed, whether biological or non-biological in origin.

Mars Remote
Topic: Mars
12/28/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number eight in this countdown was the Mars Express mission, the most complete study of martian topography and water from below the surface to the upper atmosphere.

Venus: Sizing Up the Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/28/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number nine in this countdown was the rarest of all eclipses, the once-per-century eclipse of the Sun by Venus.

Genesis: In the End...
Topic: Spaceship Earth
12/26/04
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number ten in this countdown was the remarkable story of the Genesis mission, the first attempt to capture solar wind and return it for laboratory analysis.

Winging It: Black Sky
Topic: Missions
11/08/04
On October 4, the first privately-owned, manned craft reached space. In the next four years, a spaceline called Virgin Galactic hopes thousands of astronauts will follow suit. Burt Rutan, the winner of this X-Prize competition to launch humans to the boundary of space, told an eager audience at the Moontown Airport what he thinks 'natural selection' in spacecraft design will offer 'us carbon-based folks'.

Whipple's Flying Sandbank
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
08/31/04
The most cited astronomy papers date back to the early fifties, when astronomer Fred Whipple proposed that comets were dirty snowballs. His legacy will live long beyond the passing of America's oldest astronomer.

Plurality of Worlds
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
08/10/04
Did the same Greek philosophers who declared the first truce for Olympic competition have the foresight to imagine a universe not just where many countries could coexist, but also a universe occupied by many such habitable worlds?

Francis Crick Remembered
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
07/30/04
The British molecular biologist Francis Harry Crick died on Wednesday at the age of 88. Crick won the Nobel Prize for the co-discovery of a double helical structure for all our DNA. Crick also studied the origin of life, which he considered to be that life arrived on Earth from somewhere else in our solar system.

Expert Opinions
Topic: Missions
03/27/04
The third Astrobiology Conference assembles the leading luminaries in the search for life in the universe this week in San Francisco. The guide to presentations ranges from SETI to missions, microbes to black holes.

Year In Review
Topic: Missions
01/02/04
Planetary scientists may remember the years 2003-2004 as a remarkably productive span for discoveries, whether hunting for new planets or landing on the ones that in our solar system seem to be most compatible with early Earth-like histories.

Dinner with da Vinci
Topic: Missions
08/14/03
Leonardo da Vinci dreamed of manned flight. While his genius is secured by paintings and inventions, Leonardo's keen observations of nature led him into astronomy. As with most of his work, his insights were highly original and prescient.

Mars: Winds of Change
Topic: Mars
07/12/03
The successful launches of the two new Mars missions--Spirit and Opportunity--will help to answer questions about the fate of water on the red planet. The debates go back to the first views from the 1976 Viking landers: if water shaped the Earth, wind may have shaped Mars.

Long, Strange Trips
Topic: Missions
06/30/03
A quarter century of planetary exploration has pushed the limits of what could even be imagined: comets colliding with planets, rovers driving across martian soil, and footpads resting on venusian crust so hot it could melt lead. Astrobiology Magazine relives the year-by-year timeline, and anticipates the feats yet to come.

Inference and Red Corn
Topic: New Planets
06/24/03
Mathematical astronomer, Simon Newcomb, describes the limits of life on Earth and endeavors to ask the right questions about what might be required to discover life elsewhere.

Life Pinned on Viking Horns?
Topic: Mars
06/22/03
The 1976 Viking mission sampled the strongly rusting soil on Mars. Retrospectively, its three biology experiments give insight into the challenges of working remotely, where one can never have too much data for further analysis.

Analogies of Nature
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/17/03
Mathematical astronomer, Simon Newcomb, describes the limits of life on Earth and endeavors to ask the right questions about what might be required to discover life elsewhere.

Featherless Bipeds
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
06/15/03
In the featured "Dinner with..." series, Astrobiology Magazine looks at the possibilities for computers to emulate complex human patterns. The father of artificial intelligence and Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon, gives a short course in life.

Mars: History of Antacids
Topic: Mars
06/14/03
The 1976 Mars Viking mission involved the first lander to orbit another planet, and the first biology experiments based on soil sampling. Program managers maintained a dynamic 'worry list', which included a 1970's computer that opened like a wireframe book.

Dinner with Orville: The Vertical Planet
Topic: Missions
05/25/03
A flight around the Statue of Liberty by a lookalike Wright brothers' plane is planned for Sunday, May 25th to help mark the 100th anniversary of powered flight.

Dinner with Darwin
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
05/04/03
"Which 5 historical figures would you invite to dinner, and how would you seat them?" In mock interview format, today's feature in this "Dinner With..." series, excerpts answers from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, as an initial historical 'guest' to sit down and discuss how life might have originated and evolved.

Chronology of a Scientific Safari
Topic: Missions
04/16/03
The three modern scientific revolutions - the atomic, space, and biological ages - all share key turning points on April 16th. 2003 is the bicentennial of atomic theory.

Remembrance
Topic: Missions
02/03/03
In Memory of the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia

"[To their] courage and daring and idealism..." Presidential statement, February 1, 2003

Touchdown Asteroid
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/24/03
Landing on an asteroid, while a thrilling ride for a science team, can be compared to liting a fly onto a splayed bullet.

End of an Era, Dawn of Another?
Topic: Moon to Mars
12/11/02
Thirty years ago today, the astronauts of Apollo 17 began the final human visit to the Moon. Relive the drama and majesty of the voyage by viewing the Apollo 17 Anniversary Commemorative Visualization. And learn how scientists and space agencies around the world are gearing up for an eventual return to the Moon.

Sputnik 45th Anniversary: Extreme Explorer Hall of Fame
Topic: Missions
10/04/02
This week's Extreme Explorer Hall of Fame celebrates the 45th anniversary-- from October 4, 1957 to today--of Sputnik.

Remembrance: 9/11
Topic: Missions
09/11/02
"It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than the distant [Voyager] image of our tiny world.

Happy Anniversary, Viking Lander
Topic: Mars
07/25/01
On July 20, 1976, NASA's Viking 1 lander touched down safely on the surface of Mars, revealing an alien world that continues to puzzle scientists and tempt explorers.

NASA Astrobiology Architect, Dr. Gerald Soffen, Remembered
Topic: Mars
12/04/00
NASA Scientist Dr. Gerald Soffen, who led the Viking science team that performed the first experiments on the surface of the planet Mars and a key architect of the Astrobiology Institute, is fondly remembered.
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