Feature Stories

  • On the Road
    NASA's Spirit rover is more than halfway through its one-mile trek to the Columbia Hills. Already, Spirit has logged the longest journey ever taken by a human-built robot across the surface of another world. The rover is racing toward the hills as fast as it
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  • Young Planet Challenges Old Theories
    The Spitzer Space Telescope has detected youngest planet ever found, claim NASA scientists. Planets are thought to take millions of years to form after a star is born, but discovery of a million-year old star with planet already in orbit around it means scientists may
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  • Mars: All Dressed Up
    Once a human mission to Mars hits the drawing boards, the challenge of radiation protection will come down to what many consider high-tech suit designs. A student view of what technologies are available today is offered from the University of Alberta.
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  • Pebbles from an Overheated Earth?
    The current understanding is that life evolved in a dramatically different environment than exists today. One way primordia differs depends on the carbon dioxide level for the early Earth. Pebbles from a South African goldmine may lock those secrets into their geological makeup.
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  • Titan’s Big Future in Plastics
    Titan, Saturn's hydrocarbon-rich moon, appears to host oil lakes and the raw materials for making organics. Those organics may serve as precursors to plastics, or possibly simple biomolecules.
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  • Nanobes: A New Form of Life?
    How small can life be? There are natural limits based on the building block size of a cell like the DNA molecule or a protein-synthesizing ribosome. But work published from the Mayo Clinic suggests that living creatures may come in smaller packets than previously imagined.
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  • Piecing Together a Permian Impact
    The largest extinction event in the history of life has been tied to an Australian crater called the Bedout crater now dated to be 250.7 million years old. There are several lines of evidence that indicate the Bedout crater was caused by a meteor impact
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  • Second Opportunity
    NASA's Opportunity rover has reached the rim of Endurance Crater and sent back an impressive panoramic image. The crater contains large bedrock outcrops that scientists believe are older than the outcrop at Eagle Crater and formed through a different geologic process.
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  • Killer Lakes: Part II
    Defusing Africa's killer lakes in a remote region of Cameroon, an international team of scientists takes extraordinary steps to prevent the recurrence of a deadly natural disaster. This three part excerpt gives a first-hand account of global climate change by award-winning science journalist, Kevin Krajick.
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  • Killer Lakes: Part III
    Defusing Africa's killer lakes in a remote region of Cameroon, an international team of scientists takes extraordinary steps to prevent the recurrence of a deadly natural disaster. This three part excerpt gives a first-hand account of global climate change by award-winning science journalist, Kevin Krajick.
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  • Killer Lakes: Part I
    Defusing Africa's killer lakes in a remote region of Cameroon, an international team of scientists takes extraordinary steps to prevent the recurrence of a deadly natural disaster. This three part excerpt gives a first-hand account of global climate change by award-winning science journalist, Kevin Krajick.
    more...
  • Endurance, Over the Precipice
    Opportunity scientists got their first look over the rim of Endurance crater, a remnant from an earlier time in martian history and about seven times larger than where the rover landed in Eagle crater.
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  • Three Tough Questions
    When does asking the right questions tell more than necessarily knowing the right answers? Perhaps when crossing the fertile boundary between biology and astronomy.
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  • Titan, the Enigmatic Moon
    New ground-based observations of Titan have identified three bright atmospheric regions. These spots may help explain what this oil-rich moon may offer the latest probe in just a few months when Cassini begins to orbit around Saturn.
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  • Battle of Bounce Rock
    When the Opportunity rover bounced off the only decent-sized object in view, scientists had a debate over whether they had landed on a rock or meteorite. They also had to consider whether their own hardware was dotting the landscape.
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