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  • Seeing Red: Getting the Front Seats
    The Mars Express took its closest view yet of the red planet, from a distance of several million miles. The best seats for the forthcoming landing views are just beginning to fill up for the start of the show.
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  • Cracking the Stellar Primer
    If an artificial signal ever were detected from another world, it would almost certainly be encoded or encrypted. Judging by isolated civilizations that contact each other's languages across time and space--such as the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writers and modern linguists.
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  • Europa: Frozen Ocean in Motion
    Few places in our solar system can offer more intriguing conditions for primitive life than Jupiter's moon Europa. Covered by a vast ice-sheet, Europa cloaks its subterranean ocean but evidence of a briny, electrically-conductive sea may provide at least two of the conditions needed
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  • Arecibo Chronicle
    Getting the big picture in the search for life elsewhere is a challenging balance between technology and philosophy. The SETI Institute's Seth Shostak reports from the world's largest radio telescope, Arecibo, about new signal processing methods.
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  • NASA’s RATs Go Roving on Mars
    Instruments on the Athena Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, will measure the composition of Martian rocks, searching for evidence of past water. But how will they "see" the real rock beneath all the dust? The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) comes to the rescue, cutting
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  • Europa and Undersea Divers
    From working on Europa research to diving the Atlantic for vent microbes, the SETI Institute's Kevin Hand is getting out there. His handiwork recently was contributed to the exploration voyage of James Cameron, while the Academy Award director hunted for extreme lifeforms.
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  • Leonid Meteors, 2003
    This year's encounter between the Earth's orbit and the dust trail of a comet will promise fewer mid-November meteors to view.
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  • Worms in the Mist
    The wriggling tracks of worm-like creatures can be found in rocks dating back nearly 600 million years ago. Such 'trace' fossils are fairly common in Cambrian rocks, but similar markings also have been found in much older rocks that formed long before multi-cellular mobile animals
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  • Calibrating the Moon
    If amateur astronomers can just drag their telescopes to a dark, clear spot and set-up a night's observation, the calibration of the world's largest radio telescope is not quite so straightforward.
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  • Preemies from the Precambrian
    Scientists are using a miniaturized version of the medical CT scanner to look for clues to evolution in the fossilized embryos of some of Earth's earliest animals.
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  • Space Invaders
    On the sixty-fifth anniversary of Orson Welles famous radio broadcast of H.G. Well's, 'War of the Worlds', astrobiologist David Grinspoon considers how best to protect our planet and others in the neighborhood.
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  • Location, Location, Puerto Rico is Listening
    Twice a year, every spring and autumn, a SETI team travels to the coast of Puerto Rico. Their journey is one hundred times faster than the one that Columbus first set out on--500 years ago.
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  • Mars and Muddied Waters?
    Can Mars support liquid water? So fundamental a question was hoped to be resolved with high-resolution orbital images, but the debate on whether Mars was once wet and warm has a twist: liquid water may be trapped in the porous soil, even well below its
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  • Smog Warning, Titan
    The chemistry of Saturn's moon, Titan, has long fascinated planetary scientists, particularly since it was not only discovered to have a thick atmosphere, but also one rich in organics thought to have played important roles in Earth's early biochemistry. Is Titan's chemistry biochemical?
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  • Io: Moon On Fire
    For those wishing to tour another solar system, Jupiter is a close simulation; the Jovian family of moons offers some of the most stunning photo opportunities available. To trace the story of the Jovian family requires a good lens, since the four inner
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