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This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]..

March 12, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
5 Strange Ways to Clean Up Our Space Junk – The Countdown, Episode 42

5 Strange Ways to Clean Up Our Space Junk – The Countdown, Episode 42

According to NASA, more than 500,000 pieces of debris are tracked as they orbit earth. Individual pieces can travel at speeds of up to 28,000 kilometers per hour, creating a potentially dangerous situation for both satellites and astronauts alike...

February 20, 2014 — Eric R. Olson
On making mistakes

On making mistakes

In the latest issue of the New York Review of Books, Freeman Dyson has a nice review of Mario Livio’s readable book on scientific blunders committed by great scientists.

February 20, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

About a month ago an intriguing pair of images from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars showed a curious rock that had seemingly appeared our of nowhere during the course of 12 days.

February 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Eat Small: Why our Big Fish Problem is leading to big fish problems

Eat Small: Why our Big Fish Problem is leading to big fish problems

The following is an excerpt from Patrick Mustain’s post on the Food Matters blog: We like big fish. And thats a problem, according to Andy Sharpless, CEO of the ocean conservation organization Oceana, and co-author (along with Suzannah Evans) of the book The Perfect Protein...

February 13, 2014 — Carin Bondar

Cloud Bound for Milky Way's Black Hole Puzzles Astronomers

For the past year, astronomers around the world have been watching the center of the Milky Way in anticipation of a once-per-eon event. Right around now (or, technically, 24,000 years ago--that's roughly how far away the galactic center is in light years), a cloud of gas and dust plummeting toward our galaxy's supermassive black hole, [...]..

May 2, 2014 — Seth Fletcher

Exoplanet Size: It’s Elementary

Since quite early in the history of the discovery of planets around other stars it’s been apparent that the likelihood of certain types of planets around a star is related to the abundance of heavy elements in that system...

June 3, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Black Hole in Interstellar Looks Amazingly Realistic

Wired has a fun piece about physicist and black-hole guru Kip Thorne's work on the film Interstellar, which comes out November 7. We've known the premise of the film for a long time: Earth is a disaster, the human race is on the verge of extinction, and mankind must find a new home...

October 23, 2014 — Seth Fletcher
A Paper Puppet Homage to Microbes

A Paper Puppet Homage to Microbes

The amazing power duo of Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck (Sweet Fern Productions) has come out with a new animated short on the discovery of microbes.

November 23, 2014 — Carin Bondar

Are Scientists on the Cusp of Knowing How Weird We Are?

I’m writing this post for two reasons. One is to recommend a new book by Columbia astrobiologist Caleb Scharf (who also writes a terrific Scientific American blog, “Life, Unbounded“), and the other is to defend an old book of mine...

November 21, 2014 — John Horgan
Generation Open: Sneak Peek Into Science’s Future at OpenCon 2014

Generation Open: Sneak Peek Into Science’s Future at OpenCon 2014

“What is your generation going to do? You don’t have a choice. You will make a mark. Will it be the mark of apathy? Or will you make the internet what it could be?” Michael Carroll is a Professor of Law and one of the founders of the Creative Commons...

November 16, 2014 — Hilda Bastian

That Comet? That's You, 4.5 Billion Years Ago

As the European Space Agency’s Philae lander bounced and settled onto the surface of comet 67P/C-G’s crumbly nucleus it wasn’t just space exploration, it was time travel...

November 13, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Intel Upgrades Stephen Hawking's Portal to the World

Movie audiences who went to theaters this fall to see The Theory of Everything got a glimpse of the challenges physicist Stephen Hawking has overcome to deliver his groundbreaking insights into the nature of black holes, space and time...

December 2, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier
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Science or SciFi?

Science or SciFi?

Vanishing Particles. Spooky Action.