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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

Hubble's Repairman Reflects on the Telescope's Legacy

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...

April 24, 2015 — Lee Billings

Putting A New Spin on Space Elevators

Fans of sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke know and love his 1979 classic novel, The Fountains of Paradise. The plot centers on efforts of a visionary structural engineer in the 22nd century, Dr Vannevar Morgan, to construct a space elevator connecting the surface of the earth with a satellite in geostationary orbit, almost a kind [...]..

April 15, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

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

Neutron Stars Serve Up Plates of Nuclear Pasta

Along with black holes, neutron stars are the result of stars collapsing under gravity once their fuel burns out, until their density is about the same as that of the nucleus of an atom, at which point the protons and electrons “melt” into pure neutrons...

April 14, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

New Dark Matter Map Confirms Current Theories

The American Physical Society is holding its annual April Meeting at the moment in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of the highlights, research-wise, comes to us courtesy of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration...

April 13, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

ScienceDebate Revs Up for 2016 Presidential Election

This year, I've been very fortunate to be a part of the inaugural class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program, which brings together 60 leaders from around the country to work on projects designed to create significant social impact and change...

April 13, 2015 — Sheril Kirshenbaum

Watch the First Artificial Gravity Experiment

Gravity, as the old joke goes, sucks. It drags us down, pulls on our weary limbs, makes our feet tired, makes parts of us droop. But it’s also a critical factor for our long term well-being...

April 6, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Supermassive Black Holes Make Merging Galaxies Green

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...

April 3, 2015 — Lee Billings

Images of the Massive, March 11 Solar Flare

We live a mere 93 million miles from an enormous fusion reactor. It’s easy to overlook this, after all the Sun is only about halfway through its long slog of converting protons into helium nuclei deep inside its core...

March 31, 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
When discussing Humanity’s next move to space, the language we use matters.

When discussing Humanity’s next move to space, the language we use matters.

Elon Musk’s vision for the humanity and colonizing Mars makes me incredibly uneasy. It’s not that Elon Musk has said very many inappropriate things, it’s that so much of the dialogue about colonizing Mars – inspired, initiated and often influenced by Musk – uses language and frameworks that are a little problematic (and I’m being [...]..

March 26, 2015 — DNLee

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

What Are Black Hole Firewalls? [VIDEO]

Black holes break theories. These sites of extremely large masses in extremely small spaces invoke both of the behemoths of modern physics—general relativity (which rules over large masses) and quantum mechanics (which reigns in small spaces)...

March 24, 2015 — Clara Moskowitz

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

Looking for Life In Our Soggy Solar System

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 [...]..

March 13, 2015 — Lee Billings
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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World