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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Planetary Society Reacts to Loss of Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope

Arecibo helped us explore the cosmos and our solar system, search for life, and defend Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids.

How to stop microbes from hitching a ride to space

Learn about planetary protection for exploring other worlds and get caught up on the week’s space news.

Could there be life on Venus?

Explore exciting news in the search for life beyond Earth, and take a trip down memory lane with our co-founder.

Did Scientists Just Find Life on Venus? Here's How to Interpret the Phosphine Discovery

A Venusian biosignature, if confirmed, does not guarantee life, but it does represent a compelling argument for further exploration.

The Making of Life

Michael L. Wong asks how our understanding of the origin of life on Earth informs our search for it elsewhere.

This Thanksgiving, avoid the politics and talk space instead

If you're expecting to gather with extended family on Thanksgiving, avoid the politics. Here are some conversation starters to use at the dinner table that everyone can engage in.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is getting a signal boost

It's all thanks to renewed interest from NASA and a private effort to scan the skies using an array of 64 radio telescopes.

#LPSC2018: Fungi in the lab, hot springs frozen cold, and exploding lakes

The first astrobiology session at last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference featured talks on a huge variety of interesting topics, and was one of my favorite sessions at the meeting.

Creating a guidebook for Earth's hypothetical twin

Early Earth's atmosphere wasn't a place for humans. Yet the planet had microbial life—something we should keep in mind for exoplanets.

Reminder: The Giant Magellan Telescope is going to be awesome

The GMT will characterize Earth-size exoplanets' atmospheres, looking for compounds that indicate the presence of life.

Is There Anybody out There?

The Planetary Society has supported SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, practically since our founding in 1980. Learn the past, present, and future of SETI.

Doing SETI Better by Understanding Ourselves

One of the reasons SETI is hard is that we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and part of that difficulty is that we still aren’t sure of who we are. An astronomer and an anthropologist team up to explore how cultural myopia shape what we can find in the cosmos.

Meet two astronaut candidates who can help NASA do science on other worlds

Two of NASA's new astronaut candidates are particularly suited to conduct scientific research on other worlds: Zena Cardman, a geobiologist, and Jessica Watkins, a geologist.

Fossils or good-looking rocks? Why searching for life on other worlds is hard

If you find a structure that looks like ancient life, can you be really sure that it is ancient life?

Another smoking gun in the search for life in Enceladus’ ocean

NASA's Cassini spacecraft sniffed out molecular hydrogen spewing from Enceladus' subsurface ocean. The discovery means Saturn's moon has all the basic ingredients needed to support life.

Microbes exist deep inside Earth’s craters. Could this be the secret to finding life on other worlds?

Earth possesses amazing biological diversity. Every corner of this planet—no matter how bizarre the place—is inhabited by microorganisms. This includes impact craters.

Let’s be careful about this “SETI” signal

Several readers have contacted me recently about reports that a group of international astronomers have detected a strong signal coming from a distant star that could be a sign of a high-technology civilization. Here’s my reaction: it’s interesting, but it’s definitely not the sign of an alien civilization—at least not yet.

IceBreaker: The Search for Life on Mars

The IceBreaker mission, proposed to NASA's Discovery program for low-cost missions, would seek out life on the northern plains of Mars.

Here Are the Science Instruments NASA Will Use to Explore Europa

NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.

OSIRIS-REx – Seeking Answers to the Sweet Mystery of Life

The nature of the origin of life is a topic that has engaged people since ancient times. The samples to be collected by OSIRIS-REx, returned to the Earth in 2023 and archived for decades beyond that, may indeed hide the secrets to the origin of life.

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