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NASA Goes Big and Bold for Exoplanet Science

NASA Goes Big and Bold for Exoplanet Science

                  A United States federal agency is not necessarily the first place you think of when it comes to answering some of the deepest existential questions for our species...

April 24, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Where Would you Leave a Message From the Stars?

A recent article by Samuel Arbesman in the science magazine Nautilus discusses the extraordinary sounding possibility that – just perhaps – a search for extraterrestrial intelligence could be made by looking at our DNA...

April 14, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Grand Texture of Planets

              In an idle moment, while staring at a set of solar system data, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to display a set of planetary surfaces on an equal footing, where the overall texture of these worlds was visible (although topography is probably a more [...]..

March 30, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

After a Martian Marathon, NASA's Opportunity Rover Faces Uncertain Future

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 [...]..

March 25, 2015 — Lee Billings

The Science of TED 2015

What I love about the annual TED gathering in Vancouver is the way science coexists along with art, social justice, popular song and the rest of TED's eclectic mix.

March 23, 2015 — Fred Guterl
A Blizzard of Astrobiology

A Blizzard of Astrobiology

Astrobiology has one key advantage when it comes to tooting its own horn – it can lay claim to a diverse range of scientific research as being relevant to the study of life in the universe...

March 9, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Tricksy Mars may be Obscuring Signs of Organic Matter

Picture a hot volcanic spring. Mineral-laden acidic water flows through sulfur-rich rocks. A foul odor hangs in the air. For us it’s a nasty environment, best enjoyed through the lens of a tourist’s camera...

February 24, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
What Rabbits and Martian Rovers Taught Me About Scale

What Rabbits and Martian Rovers Taught Me About Scale

Quite often when I am looking at photos, I just feel like something is missing. It is not a criticism of the light or the composition, but rather that something is, quite literally, missing: a scale...

January 20, 2015 — Amanda Baker
Lost And Found On Mars

Lost And Found On Mars

Lost, presumed crashed, the Beagle-2 lander is finally located on Mars. Back in December 2003 a bold and decidedly British robotic device was released from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter...

January 16, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life In 2015?

Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life In 2015?

Probably not, but just possibly yes. One of the reasons that the search for life elsewhere in the universe is so exciting is that it would take only one chance discovery, one lucky break, for all the walls to come tumbling down...

December 29, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

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
Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Two billion year-old water pockets and a revised deep hydrogen content are good news for Earth’s vast subsurface biosphere, and could offer clues to life on Mars and much further beyond...

December 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Alien Yet Familiar: Following Curiosity Across Mars

822 Martian days after landing, NASA’s Curiosity rover, carrying the Mars Science Laboratory, continues on its extraordinary journey across landscapes that are both utterly alien, and remarkably familiar...

November 28, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Mars' First Close-up

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Mariner IV spacecraft (November 28, 1964). In total, the mission gave us 21 complete images of Mars, including this, our first close view of the planet—courtesy of data transmitted by the interplanetary probe and earth-bound scientists wielding pastels (below)...

November 28, 2014 — Jen Christiansen

Two New Arrivals Send Back Pictures Of Mars

The skies of Mars just got a little more crowded. On September 21st, 2014 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) fired its engines for some 33 minutes in order to swing into a safe orbit...

September 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
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