Ron Cowen's Articles

  • News

    Age of the universe: A new determination

    Analyzing the faint glow left over from the Big Bang, scientists report measuring the age of the cosmos with unprecedented accuracy—14 billion years, accurate to within half a billion years.
  • News

    Young stars shed light on young sun

    If our own sun had been as active in its youth as is a group of young sunlike stars recently observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, it could account for the abundance of several isotopes, such as aluminum-26, calcium-41, and beryllium-10 found in meteorites.
  • News

    Asteroid studies reveal new puzzles

    Belying the image of an asteroid as a bare rock, a detailed study of the asteroid 433 Eros reveals that many of its crater floors and depressions are coated with fine dust and nearly half of the largest rocks strewn across the asteroid's surface represent material blasted from a single crater.
  • News

    Moon plume breaks the record

    The Galileo spacecraft has found the tallest plume seen so far on Jupiter's moon Io, the only volcanically active moon known in the solar system.
  • Feature

    A Cosmic Crisis?

    Astronomers appear to have a heavenly crisis on their hands, and it concerns material they can't even detect.
  • News

    After a failure, a new craft to sail

    Despite the July 20 failure of its mission to test the unfurling of a solar sail in a suborbital trajectory, the Planetary Society announced plans in late August to conduct a second test of a sail-propelled craft.
  • News

    A meteorite's pristine origins

    A rare, carbon-rich meteorite that fell into a frozen Canadian lake last year ranks as the most pristine of such specimens ever found.
  • News

    Gravity's lens: Finding a dim cluster

    Relying solely on a gravitational mirage rather than visible images, astronomers have discovered a previously unknown cluster of galaxies and measured its distance from Earth.