Feature Stories

  • Homing Signals
    Phoning home intergalactically may have one natural prerequisite if a civilization is hoping to connect: timing their precursor signal or 'ring' so that we might know that they're broadcasting. Dr. Robin Corbet, of the Universities' Space Research Association discusses his research findings on Synchronized SETI.
    more...
  • Water Worlds
    Italian astronomers report on a method for water detection on extrasolar planets and cometary clouds, and their shortlist of candidates with promising initial findings from the 32-meter Medicina radio telescope.
    more...
  • Shortlisting Stars With Planetary Systems
    Markus Landgraf and European Space Agency colleagues explore the first direct evidence of dust rings in our solar system, and propose a novel way to shortlist stars with likely extrasolar planets.
    more...
  • The Lost World?
    Twists in the Sun's magnetic field create sunspots, and other stars also exhibit these dark, cooler spots on their surfaces. A new study suggests that starspots on the star HD 192263 may be masquerading as an extrasolar planet.
    more...
  • Amalthea Flyby: The Heat is On
    On November 5, the Galileo spacecraft with fly less than 100 miles over one of Jupiter's moons called Almathea. The moon is unique as one that gives off more heat than it receives from the Sun--perhaps from Jupiter's radiation bands or tidal heating.
    more...
  • News_Image_85
    From the Hubble Telescope to the even cooler Webb, a new generation of hot views promise insight into some of the most distant galactic incubators. The chances to image a distant planet may benefit from the enhanced infrared tools available to the next generation of
    more...
  • No Drought of Mars Landing Sites
    With the Mars Exploration Rover (or MER) landing sites narrowed from 150 alternatives, the prospect of roaming around ancient lakebeds or searching for the grey crystals called hematite has orbital cameras clicking.
    more...
  • Tuning In to Other Worlds
    Some scientists think it may be possible to detect planets beyond our solar system by looking for radio signals generated by same forces that lead to 'Northern Lights'. A team of scientists working on a radio telescope called the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR)
    more...
  • Extreme Animals
    Because of their ability to withstand hostile conditions, tardigrades and other cryptobiotic organisms are of interest to astrobiologists. Some tardigrades can survive in temperatures as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius (minus 328 F).
    more...
  • Tracking the Path of Green Slime
    Cyanobacteria gave us oxygen for the atmosphere and a protective ozone layer, and they led to the development of all the green plants in the world today. They can be found everywhere from the surface of the oceans to underneath
    more...
  • Gravity’s Telescope
    Using a technique known as "gravitational microlensing", astronomers hope to find planets in Earth-like orbits around stars halfway across the galaxy.
    more...
  • Evolution’s Sweet Tooth
    How did intelligence evolve? A scientist studying differences between humans and great apes may have found a biochemical step in that direction.
    more...
  • Voyage of The Voyagers: First Quarter-Century
    When initially launched on August 20, 1977, the Voyager missions to Jupiter and Saturn were considered mission-capable for around 5-year lives. But after 25 years, there is a good chance that another 25 years for their tour is on-course.
    more...
  • Bacteria: Survival in Siberia
    While Mars experts have gathered evidence of ice on Mars for some time, results in May from the Odyssey spacecraft showed large amounts of subsurface ice. The concept of suspended animation supports the plots of dozens of science fiction books and movies.
    more...
  • Weird Life on the Mats
    Do extinct species represent failed evolutionary experiments? At least for some more closely related to today's crabs and lobsters, University of Southern California scientist David Bottjer says that if many such early animals look strange to us, it is not because they were strange.
    more...