NASA has announced that they have confirmation that Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a food source that could support potential microbial lifeforms. This crucial ingredient accompanies Enceladus’ grocery list of elements needed to support life: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, organic molecules, and of course, liquid water.

"Almost all of the conditions that astrobiologists have identified for habitability are present on Enceladus: water, organics, and a chemical energy source," explains Hunter Waite, from the Southwest Research Institute. "The only things that are left on the checklist are phosphorus or sulfur."

We’re all familiar with the concept of early spaceflight experiments that sent animals into space, including fruit flies, various rodents, all the way up through the quintessential space-monkey. These high-flying menageries were sent aloft to study the effects of travel into space on biological organisms, as no-one at the time knew what would happen to a human being if they were sent to that high an altitude.

 A new asteroid was discovered by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission in November of 2016, designated 2016 WF9. While the mission finally decided to designate the object as an asteroid a few days later, 2016 WF9 presented an interesting puzzle: while it appears to be a comet in structure, it also lacks the dust and gas cloud that is characteristic of what we expect from comets.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program is currently investigating a high-energy signal burst that originated from a star 95 light years away, in the constellation Hercules. SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak cautions that this is unlikely to be an artificial signal, as there are a number of natural phenomena that could also have produced the signal.

The signal was recorded by Russian astronomers at the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya. Unfortunately, the signal was recorded on May 15, 2015, nearly a year and a half ago, a delay that severely hampers verification of the other signal from other telescopes. Nonetheless, SETI will be listening to the star on the off chance that there might be a repeat of the signal.