Monthly Archives: October 2015

Science gives Pluto its day in the sun

The first peer-reviewed scientific paper about the New Horizons probe’s July flyby past Pluto lays out puzzling evidence that suggests the dwarf planet isn’t frozen in time. Rather, its smooth plains, high mountains and nitrogen glaciers are leading the NASA mission’s researchers … Continue reading

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Robo-tail shows how dinosaurs cracked the whip

Nathan Myhrvold, the Microsoft millionaire who went on to found Intellectual Ventures, is a huge dinosaur geek. But not just any dinosaur geek: He funds paleontological digs, gets heavily involved in research and keeps a life-size T. rex skeleton in his living room. Now he and other scientists have … Continue reading

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Pluto pics reveal blue glow – and water ice

The latest pictures from Pluto reveal for the first time that the backlit dwarf planet is surrounded by a beautiful blue glow – and also pinpoint the location of water ice deposits. Continue reading

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Israeli team gets set for 2017 moon race

Israeli-based Team SpaceIL has signed up to launch a robotic lander to the moon on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the latter half of 2017, thanks to an arrangement with Seattle-based Spaceflight. SpaceIL will be a “co-lead” customer for … Continue reading

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Orbiter shows how risky ‘Martian’ trek would be

Marooned astronaut Mark Watney takes a harrowing trek from Mars’ Acidalia Planitia to Schiaparelli Crater in “The Martian,” which took the top spot on last weekend’s box-office list with $55 million. But pictures of the actual terrain from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest … Continue reading

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New index sizes up habitability of alien planets

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life, and the top prospects on their list are an Earthlike world called Kepler-442b and a yet-to-be confirmed planet known as … Continue reading

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NASA vet Lori Garver does a Mars reality check

If we want to send astronauts to Mars, we better find a way to do it within 10 years. And if we want to discover a blue planet around an alien sun, there’s a good chance it could happen within five years. That’s … Continue reading

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