Search for Life

  • Gone With the Martian Wind

    Gone With the Martian Wind

    April 26, 2007 | Article

    Mars is a very windy place—so windy, in fact, that bright, oxidized martian soil is being scoured away by martian winds and dust devils to reveal darker, sub-surface soil with the end result of making the whole planet warmer.
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  • Harnessing the Power of the Sun

    April 19, 2007 | Article

    Science, even by reputable practitioners, proceeds in fits, starts, and frequent excursions down blind alleys.
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  • Really Old Stars Perhaps Ideal for Advanced Civilizations

    April 12, 2007 | Article

    In the near future, with the launch of NASA's Kepler Mission in 2008, we'll have the tools to seek evidence of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of distant stars.
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  • The Astronaut Farmer: A Tough Row to Hoe

    The Astronaut Farmer: A Tough Row to Hoe

    March 22, 2007 | Article

    The Astronaut Farmer is the quintessential American Story. That’s right; it’s the classic, archetypical, consummate, perfected American myth, served up in packaging so homespun, you’ll wonder that the actors aren’t dressed in quilts.
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  • Listening for ET’s Television

    November 09, 2006 | Article

    Given that stars in our neighborhood are separated by about 4 light-years, it’s easy to figure that roughly 10 thousand star systems have been exposed to “I Love Lucy” in the past five decades. That's a lot of "Lucy, I'm hooome!"
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  • Uranus Has a Dark Spot

    Uranus Has a Dark Spot

    October 26, 2006 | Article

    Images of Uranus taken in August by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show that a dark spot has formed in the planet’s northern hemisphere.
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  • Shadows and Silhouettes:  Looking for Transits

    Shadows and Silhouettes: Looking for Transits

    October 05, 2006 | Article

    On November 8, Mercury will transit the Sun. From Earth, we’ll see the silhouette of Mercury travel across the disk of the Sun. Transits are uncommon but predictable events. But they can help us find extra-solar planets.
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  • Planetary Politics: Protecting Pluto

    September 07, 2006 | Article

    A resolution in California calls the International Astronomical Union mean-spirited.
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  • Contact: What Happens if a Signal is Found

    August 17, 2006 | Article

    If you chanced to be among the handful of visitors wandering the lava-strewn landscape of northeastern California on July 18, 2006, you might have seen the preamble to what could be a very giant leap for mankind.
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  • Is SETI Barking up the Wrong Tree?

    July 20, 2006 | Article

    Some people mistakenly confuse a long search with a thorough one, and figure that the lack of a SETI detection indicates that we’re alone in the Galaxy. This, however, is nonsense.
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