Interview

  • RADAR Surprises from Titan
    As scientist puzzle over the Titan images from the recent Cassini flyby, some of the most intriguing landforms appear in radar reflections. Ralph Lorenz from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab takes a tour of Titan's surprises including what may be icy volcanoes.
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  • Water from a Stone
    One question that has puzzled planetary scientists is where is the water on Mars today? One answer that is being investigated is mineral storage, particularly hydration of magnesium sulfate salts. If these storehouses protect water from evaporation, a second set of questions arise as to
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  • Tugboat as Lifeboat?
    Among the proposals for diverting an asteroid collision with Earth, one involves gently pushing the incoming rock over the course of a year. This low-thrust solution has its challenges since at various stages of that perilous year, if it ever came, locations on Earth would
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  • Where Cosmic Rays Come From
    A century-old mystery is the origin of cosmic rays. Viewing a supernova remnant with high energy detectors, or gamma-ray eyes, shows that particles are likely accelerated by such massive explosions. Cosmic rays are thought to have played a major role in the early Earth's evolution
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  • Marketing to the Mothership
    It is sometimes said that the best form of advertising is education. But what products would our global marketplace tolerate at the borders of an encounter with another, perhaps far different civilization? To get some perspective, an expert entertains the question of how to advertise
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  • Drilling on Autopilot
    Drilling is complex work, even under the best of circumstances. Small wonder, then, that drilling rigs are usually attended by a crew of technicians who control their operation. But if scientists want to explore for life beneath the martian surface, they may have to send
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  • Coping with Contamination
    Drilling is a messy business. Drilling fluid is anything but sterile. For most drilling applications, that's no problem. But when astrobiologists drill into the subsurface for new and unusual life forms, they need to be sure that the bacteria they find really do come from
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  • Life on Earth: Signpost to Life on Mars
    The Río Tinto is a river in Spain with highly acidic water the color of red wine. A group of astrobiologists wants to know what microbial life forms are lurking deep below the surface where the river's headwaters seep out of the ground. Then
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  • Drilling for Weird Life
    Scientists interested in the search for life on other planets often spend their time hunting for novel life forms and unique ecosystems here on Earth. The Río Tinto, a river in Spain with highly acidic water the color of red wine, has one group of
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  • Citizen of the Solar System
    NASA's David Morrison won the 2004 Carl Sagan medal from the Division for Planetary Sciences. He talked with Astrobiology Magazine about the risks and rewards of extending science beyond our biosphere.
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