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Complex Life Owes Its Existence To Parasites?

Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth...

October 24, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Recent Lunar Discoveries Reveal a "New Moon"

Think you know about the Moon? I did, but then I started reading ‘The New Moon: Water, Exploration, and Future Habitation‘ (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and realized that my knowledge amounted to a teensy scrap of lunar dust...

October 21, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Scientific American Online Now Speaks Spanish

Scientific American Online Now Speaks Spanish

In 1845, when Scientific American was founded, the name was aspirational for a young country in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. Before the 1800s were out, however, it launched an edition in Spanish...

October 15, 2014 — THE EDITORS

Neutrinos on Ice: How to Build a Balloon

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...

November 15, 2014 — Katie Mulrey

The Surreal Task of Landing on a Comet

On November 12th 2014 the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will eject the small robotic lander Philae on a trajectory that should take it down to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (or 67P/C-P for short)...

November 4, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
C-SPAN’s ‘After Words’ Discusses Our Cosmic Status

C-SPAN’s ‘After Words’ Discusses Our Cosmic Status

Ever feel that broadcast TV fails to tackle the big issues? I don’t mean the state of the economy, healthcare, the future of clean energy, or what B-list celebrities had for breakfast – I mean the Really Big Issues...

September 23, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Reflections on My @SciAmBlogs Tenure

Reflections on My @SciAmBlogs Tenure

After three and a half years or so as a part of the SciAm blogging network, this my last post as a dedicated blog at Scientific American. There will be an announcement from SciAm about the reorganization of the blogging network, and PsiVid, where I’ve posted about science in TV, video and film along with [...]..

December 15, 2014 — Joanne Manaster
The Art and Science of Peppermint

The Art and Science of Peppermint

I love the latest video from the folks at USC Dornsife, all about the art and science of peppermint. In addition to being a fun, fast paced and visually pleasing film, this work gives us a lot of basic information about peppermint from diverse points of view including psychology, history, art, neurobiology — and more...

December 11, 2014 — Carin Bondar

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
Neutrinos on Ice: Launching the Balloon

Neutrinos on Ice: Launching the Balloon

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...

January 7, 2015 — Katie Mulrey
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 10 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
Is All the Universe From Nothing?

Is All the Universe From Nothing?

In March, a team of researchers based in Antarctica announced they'd detected gravitational waves, faint echoes from the first moments of the Big Bang.

May 22, 2014 — Richard Yonck
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