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Stories by Ken Croswell40 articles archived since 1845

Alien Life Prefers Circles

Solar systems with many planets are more likely to feature the circular orbits that could foster intelligent life

March 1, 2015 — Ken Croswell

Half-Century Anniversary of a Mars Mishap

November 5th marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Mariner 3, America’s first mission to Mars, which was lost in space. Steve Mirsky reports


November 5, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

Neptune Visit Hits 25th Anniversary

On August 24th, 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft rendezvoused with Neptune, making it the farthest planet to pose for a close-up, a record it still holds today.    


August 24, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

Jellyfish Galaxies Get Guts Ripped Out

Recently discovered galaxies shaped like jellyfish leave a long trail of hot gas and dust, victims of even hotter gas from their surrounding cluster of galaxies


June 17, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

Meteor Storm Went from Sizzle to Fizzle

The May Camelopardalids meteor outburst turned out to be a dud, because meteor storm prediction is not a sure thing, unlike, for example, calculating the next eclipse


June 4, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

Pluto Bids to Get Back Planetary Status

Pluto has at least five moons and an atmosphere—and now a new analysis places its diameter as bigger than its outer solar system rival, Eris  


May 27, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

Oddball Eclipse Makes Star Brighter

When a white dwarf passes in front of its binary star system companion every 88 days, it acts like a lens to make the larger star appear brighter to us.


May 15, 2014 — Ken Croswell and Steve Mirsky

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