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Big Mirrors, High Hopes: Extremely Large Telescope Is A Go

In astronomy, bigger is almost always better. The size of a telescope’s aperture (or primary optical element) not only determines how many pesky little photons it can capture, but also the ultimate resolution of the image that can be formed...

December 9, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
How it all ends…

How it all ends…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” Robert Frost (1874-1963) The [...]..

December 7, 2014 — David Bressan

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
Neutrinos on Ice: How to Keep Cool in Thin Air

Neutrinos on Ice: How to Keep Cool in Thin Air

Editor's Note: Welcome to ANITA, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna! From October to December, Katie Mulrey is traveling with the ANITA collaboration to Antarctica to build and launch ANITA III, a scientific balloon that uses the entire continent of Antarctica for neutrino and cosmic ray detection...

December 1, 2014 — Katie Mulrey

Physicist Slams Cosmic Theory He Helped Conceive

I love apostates, believers in or, better yet, conceivers of a theory who turn against it. They restore my faith in science, because they show that scientists can overcome attachment to their own brainchildren, a feat that is essential for progress and cannot be taken for granted...

December 1, 2014 — John Horgan
Travel the Solar System! See Distant Worlds!

Travel the Solar System! See Distant Worlds!

Mars – Valles Marineris © Ron Guyatt Sol System – Meteor Shower © Ron Guyatt In an explosion of heroic art deco design, illustrator and designer Ron Guyatt has created a massive series of posters making our own solar system fascinating again...

November 30, 2014 — Glendon Mellow

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
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 25, 2014 — Carin Bondar
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
Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

For a long time the apparent discrepancy between the age of earth and the age of the cosmos posed a great problem to geologists and astronomers alike.

November 21, 2014 — David Bressan

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
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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World