A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. Chandra data from May 2nd, 2017 are seen in the pull-out, which is shown in context of a visible-light image taken from the ground of the Alpha Centauri system and its surroundings. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system located just over four light years, or about 25 trillion miles, from Earth. While this is a large distance in terrestrial terms, it is three times closer than the next nearest Sun-like star. Credits: Optical: Zdenek Bardon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Colorado/T. Ayres et al.

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This low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin" on lower Mount Sharp. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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NASA/JPL

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The Curiosity rover on Mars has been busy. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rover detects ancient organic material on Mars – and it could be trace of past life

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How unique is our universe? Jaime Salcido/Durham University, Author provided

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Dramatic jets of ice, water vapor and organic compounds spray from the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus in this image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in November 2009. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA Dives Deep into the Search for Life

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Artist’s illustration of Jupiter and Europa (in the foreground) with the Galileo spacecraft after its pass through a plume erupting from Europa’s surface. A new computer simulation gives us an idea of how the magnetic field interacted with a plume. The magnetic field lines (depicted in blue) show how the plume interacts with the ambient flow of Jovian plasma. The red colors on the lines show more dense areas of plasma. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan

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Artist’s impression of the Europa clipper mission. NASA

Signs of water plumes boost chances of finding life on Jupiter’s moon Europa

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The extinction of dinosaurs is one of the many periods of mass extinctions on earth. www.shutterstrock.com/Jaroslav Moravcik

5 periods of mass extinction on Earth. Are we entering the sixth?

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Mars seen by Viking. NASA / USGS

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Mars NASA JPL Caltech cd f d o.

Before we colonise Mars, let’s look to our problems on Earth

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Dave Strom/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Newly discovered Churchill essay on aliens is a timely reminder of the dangers facing life on Earth

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