Friday September 22nd 2017

‘Astronomy’ Archives

Brave New Jupiter

Brave New Jupiter

For the last five years, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been barrelling towards its final destination: Jupiter, king of the planets. On 4 July this year, the four tonne, spinning craft – which looks like an oversized propeller that has abandoned its plane – will fire its [Read More]

The Mars Anomaly

The Mars Anomaly

The presence of water isn’t the only Mars mystery scientists are keen to probe. Another centers around a seemingly trivial characteristic of the Red Planet: its size. Classic models of solar system formation predict that the girth of rocky worlds should grow with their [Read More]

How we got to Ceres

How we got to Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft recently reached the orbit of Ceres, a dwarf planet and the largest object in the asteroid belt. Read more about the journey here. [Read More]

Science behind the scenes

Science behind the scenes

  Jerry Zucker! Natalie Portman! Arthur C. Clarke! My article about the Science & Entertainment Exchange is now up at PNAS. [Read More]

Living Long Beneath the Sea

Living Long Beneath the Sea

  In the muck beneath the ocean floor, there’s something alive. Lots of somethings. But don’t worry: You’ll never see them. Instead, these tiny, one-celled germs are content to hunker down in very old clay, for a very long time, eating just enough to stay alive. [Read More]

Are we alone?

Are we alone?

  If aliens ever sent us a message, scientists hope to pick it up in a remote part of northern California.   There, in a clearing nestled amid the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, 42 radio dishes point together at the sky. The dishes, each 20 feet across, form a [Read More]

Bringing down the trash

Bringing down the trash

The density of junk orbiting the Earth is at or near a critical value beyond which this man-made debris will self-perpetuate, forming many smaller pieces that are even more of a problem.I wrote this article for Physics World about the latest ideas about how to bring down [Read More]

Worlds beyond the solar system

Worlds beyond the solar system

Once upon a time — about 20 years ago — kids in school learned about nine planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The Nine orbited the sun, and they were the only planets that mattered. Any others existed in the imagination of [Read More]

Moon twinkles

Moon twinkles

If you ever travel to the moon, don’t forget to pack a heavy-duty umbrella. It’s not for downpours: With no atmosphere, there’s no chance of rain. But hundreds of times each year, small space rocks smash into the lunar surface, flashing brightly enough to be seen from [Read More]

Mapping the invisible

Mapping the invisible

Most maps show places you can visit and how to get there. Most maps, however, were not made by astronomers — physicists who study stars and galaxies far, far, far away. At a recent meeting in Texas, three teams of these scientists presented new maps unlike any atlas, [Read More]

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Latest Topics

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

Under cover of darkness, thieves dove into the inky waters of Tennessee’s river sanctuaries and scooped up [Read More]

Predicting the whirlwind

Predicting the whirlwind

  In more than 20 years as a meteorologist, Joshua Wurman had seen – and chased – more than 150 tornadoes. But [Read More]

Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

With round lenses set in super-thick frames, these new eyeglasses look like they belong on a cartoon character. But [Read More]

How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics

How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), the first of which was shown experimentally 22 years ago, isn’t your garden variety [Read More]

Seeking a Second Opinion

Seeking a Second Opinion

In November 2012, when she was 52 years old, Shannon Semple was diagnosed with a disease she didn’t have. She credits [Read More]

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