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Stories by Lee Billings

Planet Hunters Bet Big on a Small Telescope to See Alien Earths

In 1990, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft briefly looked back from its journey out of the solar system, capturing a view of the faraway Earth. Carl Sagan called it the "pale blue dot." From more than 6 billion kilometers away, beyond the orbit of Pluto, it seemed remarkable that our planet was even visible...

January 27, 2015 — Lee Billings

The Top Ten Space and Physics Stories of 2014

From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics...

December 22, 2014 — Lee Billings

UV Light Colors Great Red Spot

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is its particular crimson shade because of the interaction of ultraviolet light and specific chemical compounds in the gas giant's atmosphere. Lee Billings reports    

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December 1, 2014 — Lee Billings

Lander Stable on Comet, for Now

The Philae lander settled atop the “head” of the rubber duck–shaped object despite trouble with systems designed to secure the probe to the comet

November 12, 2014 — Lee Billings

What "Interstellar" Gets Wrong about Interstellar Travel

Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, is a near-future tale of astronauts departing a dying Earth to travel to Saturn, then through a wormhole to another galaxy, all in search of somewhere else humanity could call home...

November 12, 2014 — Lee Billings

Comet Reeks of Cat Crap and Rotten Eggs

The Rosetta spacecraft has unexpectedly detected hydrogen sulphide and ammonia coming from Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Lee Billings reports     

 

November 3, 2014 — Lee Billings

Google Exec's Stratospheric Plunge Breaks World Record

This morning in Roswell, New Mexico, a spacesuit-clad 57-year-old Google executive, Alan Eustace, strapped into a harness beneath a giant helium balloon and lifted off to new heights in the upper stratosphere...

October 24, 2014 — Lee Billings
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