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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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  • Swift Gammas: One Minute of Fame, Everyday
    On the thirtieth anniversary of the discovery of gamma-ray bursts, a new telescope called SWIFT is expected to deepen our understanding of what causes them. Focused in the high-energy part of the electromagnetic spectrum, gamma-ray bursts represent the biggest explosions since the Big Bang.
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  • Mysteries of Wow
    In August 1977, a sky survey conducted with Ohio State University's "Big Ear" radio telescope found what has become known as the 'Wow' signal. Registering an enormous signal strength, the shape of the signal had the characteristic rise and fall expected for its short
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  • Martian History: Written in Stone
    A key goal for the Mars Exploration Rovers is to find out what Mars rocks are made of. That's no simple matter, requiring several tools mounted on the Instrument Deployment Device. One, the Alpha-Particle-X-Ray Spectrometer, analyzes many of the chemical elements in a rock or
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  • Dyson’s Long Shot
    Renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, famous for his designs of grand energy collectors called Dyson's Sphere, has put down a public bet: life will first be discovered elsewhere not on a planet or moon, but someplace other than what we could recognize as terrestrial turf.
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  • Habitability: Betting on 37 Gem
    What star meets the current best guesses for habitability? This fascinating question is part of an ongoing research survey, in preparation for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. The answer, according to the largest such classification so far attempted, is the 37th brightest star in
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  • Metal in the Meadow
    Dave DeBoer, Project Engineer for Allen Telescope Array, discusses what the unique telescope will offer. The Allen Telescope Array is marked by many innovations crafted with express purpose of building a world-class state-of-the-art astronomical facility at a price of existing radio telescopes.
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