The celestial critter in the new Hubble telescope photo is actually a cloud of gas stretching one light-year (10 trillion kilometers) across, scientists said. This cloud is in the process of collapsing under its own gravity to give birth to a star — but it's a race against time, because the established bright stars in its vicinity are fighting this process.
We want to move and explore in a very similar manner that we've done in the past, so that we can live off the land to make all these missions very cost-effective and more efficient," Prasun Desai, acting director of the Strategic Integration and Analysis Office in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, said on Aug. 6.
This does NOT mean that anything ever actually lived there. But it is the first time that the ingredients for the evolution of microbial life, and the correct conditions to support it, have been directly observed beyond Earth. Mars still has water frozen at its poles, and once had quite a bit of water above and below the surface.