Feature Stories

  • Ocean on Enceladus May Be Short-Lived
    Three years ago, surprising evidence came out for an ocean underneath the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. But a new report indicates just how hard it may be to keep water from freezing on this tiny moon.
    more...
  • Deep Hydrogen
    Molecular hydrogen provides energy for many bacteria, in hot springs at Yellowstone and in rocks several kilometers beneath the surface. How did molecular hydrogen get inside these deep rocks, and what does this tell us about the origin of life on Earth?
    more...
  • Testing for Life on Mars
    Controversy still surrounds the life-detection results from NASA's Viking mission of 30 years ago. The Phoenix mission now on Mars may help answer questions raised by Viking, but researchers will need to be able to spot the difference between chemical and biological signatures.
    more...
  • Making Sense of Mars Methane
    Research on methane at a Mexican salt flat could help reveal the source of methane that has been detected in the atmosphere of Mars. But first scientists have to decipher the unique – and seemingly contradictory - isotopic signature of the Mexican methane.
    more...
  • Biological Stowaways on Mars
    Astrobiologists hope to find evidence for life on Mars. Sending spacecraft from Earth to study the planet could introduce biological contamination, however, and lead to a false detection of alien life. New research adds to these concerns with evidence that ATP -- an energy-storage
    more...
  • Amino Acids: In Hot Water
    Meteorites shower the Earth with amino acids. A new project is exploring how long amino acids could survive on asteroids, meteorites, and the early Earth. The results could help scientists pinpoint how and where life on our planet began.
    more...
  • Targeting a Lunar Bulls-Eye
    Using Earth-based radar, scientists have studied ejecta material from the moon's Orientale impact basin. The new data has implications for future robotic and human missions to explore the lunar south pole.
    more...
  • MRO Snaps Phoenix
    NASA has achieved a photographic first. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of Phoenix, hanging below its parachute, as the lander descended through the martian atmosphere.
    more...
  • Can You Hear Me Now?
    A glitch in the communications hardware of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has caused a delay in the Phoenix mission.
    UPDATE: MRO received information from the Phoenix Mars Lander Tuesday evening and relayed the information to Earth.
    more...
  • Iron-Coated Fossils
    Fossilized microbes found in Spain´s Rio Tinto valley may guide the search for past life on Mars.
    more...