Books and recommendations from Scientific American
Mice exposed to radiation akin to what astronauts to Mars would receive experienced cognitive impairment. Lee Billings reports
Controversy swirls around a bold proposal for a bigger, better—and expensive—replacement for NASA’s premier space telescope
On April 30, if all goes well, after running out of fuel to fight off orbital decay NASA’s long-running MESSENGER spacecraft will end its mission to Mercury by crashing into the planet’s surface at nearly 4 kilometers per second.
Twenty-five years ago, on April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope soared into orbit. Since then, its great discoveries have been legion, and the story of how it became the most successful and productive astronomical observatory in human history is destined to become legendary.
NASA’s iconic space telescope has delivered gorgeous astronomical pictures for a quarter century, but some of its keystone discoveries come from far more humble images. Here are Scientific American’s top 10
Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, veteran of two space shuttle missions to Hubble, recalls how he saved the telescope he loves
Mariette DiChristina, Scientific American's Editor in Chief, has a special place in her heart for the Hubble Space Telescope
The most far-seeing search ever performed for “Dyson spheres” and other artifacts of “astroengineering” comes up empty. Where is everybody?
With two partially successful landing attempts of its Falcon 9 booster, the private company inches closer to its goal of making a fully reusable rocket
Radar measurements and models of Earthly glacial ice flows led researchers to conclude that the glaciers spotted on Mars from orbiters contain nearly 150 billion cubic meters of water. Lee Billings reports
Green as a color can mean animal, vegetable or mineral. It is the stuff of crocodiles, chlorophyll and copper patina, the essence of serpentine or of snakes in the grass, the hue of a glacial lake, a stagnant pond and the Chicago River on St.
Careening toward the sun, Jupiter cleared the way for Earth to form—with help from Saturn, too
My lowest point as a science journalist came before I even knew what a science journalist was. I was a young punk in an eighth-grade science class at Northwood Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina
The agency's controversial Asteroid Redirect Mission no longer calls for redirecting an asteroid into high lunar orbit
It's been a long time coming, but this week NASA's Mars Opportunity rover completed the first-ever Martian marathon. After landing on the Red Planet in January 2004 on a mission originally planned to only last 90 days, Opportunity has instead endured for more than a decade, and has taken eleven years and two months to [...]
A new out-of-this-world theory links mass extinctions with exotic astrophysics and galactic architecture
Astronomers report the discovery of only the second quadruple-star system known to host at least one planet. But they suspect there are a lot more such systems out there. Lee Billings reports
Scientists are finding liquid water, the cornerstone for life as we know it, in surprising nooks and crannies of the solar system. Following Wednesday's news that there seem to be hydrothermal vents churning away in the warm, alkaline seas inside Saturn's moon Enceladus, researchers announced airtight evidence yesterday that Jupiter's moon Ganymede also has a [...]
Saturn's icy moon Enceladus has a surprisingly warm inner world