Essays

  • The way we define life matters in our search for life on other planets.
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  • During a spacewalk on July 16, astronaut Luca Parmitano's spacesuit malfunctioned and filled with water, nearly drowning him. In this essay, he provides a chilling first person account of his near-death experience.
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  • A Mars sample return mission has been a goal of NASA for decades. In a recent essay, Lou Friedman, former Executive Director of The Planetary Society, discussed the potential of pursuing such an ambitious project in the coming years.
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  • In this essay, David Schwartzman explains how we can communicate with intelligent aliens, finally making planet Earth a member of the Galactic Club.
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  • Volcanoes play a major role in Earth's climate, as evidenced by the recent eruption in Iceland. Some volcanic activity that isn't quite as visible, like the ocean's version of the La Brea Tarpits off the Santa Barbara coast, also has an effect on life.
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  • Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter... the names of planets in our solar system read like a "Who´s Who" of ancient mythology. What should we call the planets we find beyond our solar system?
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  • Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter... the names of planets in our solar system read like a "Who´s Who" of ancient mythology. What should we call the planets we find beyond our solar system?
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  • The oceans are a vital resource for human society - and for the biosphere of Earth as a whole. However, climate change is have some dramatic effects on our oceans and seas. Increases in events like algal blooms are now being tied to global warming.
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  • Fires are a normal and healthy part of the natural cycle - yet the severity of duration of fire seasons seem to be on the rise. This could be due to a drier, warmer climate in some parts of the world resulting from changes in
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  • Astrobiology Magazine's climate blog, The Hot Zone, discusses the interconnection of Earth's natural systems and how vulnerable this makes us to the forces of nature. From violent earthquakes to thinning glaciers, we are only beginning to understand how our biosphere, climate and planet interact.
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