Reviews & Previews
Black Hole Marcia BartusiakYale Univ., $27.50
Almost a century before Einstein was born, the English polymath John Michell speculated that a star of immense mass could exert enough gravitational force to imprison light. Michell’s insight marked the origin of an idea that was demonstrated in reality only in the 20th century, in the astrophysical offspring of Einstein’s general...
I blame my love for science fiction mostly on my mother, although my older brother Nathaniel probably should also take some of the heat. Both were voracious readers, leaving piles of books around the house, most of them sci-fi, that I couldn’t avoid escaping into.05/06/2015 - 12:02 Science & Society
Fans of science fiction will find a few items in this issue sure to trip the imagination. First, Tina Hesman Saey...
Letters to the Editor
Free-range planets05/06/2015 - 12:02 Exoplanets, Archaeology, Climate
Astronomers are puzzling over some space oddities: planets that don’t orbit stars. In “Wandering worlds” (SN: 4/4/15, p. 22), Ashley Yeager explored how these lonely rogues may alter the definition of a planet.
Tim Geho wanted to know more about how scientists locate homeless worlds. “Where does the light come from that allows rogue planets to be seen, either...
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Earth — a planet of oceans, rivers and rainforests — grew up in an interplanetary desert.
When the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, shards of calcium- and aluminum-rich minerals stuck together, building ever-larger pebbles and boulders that smashed together and assembled the rocky planets, including Earth.
But Earth’s signature ingredient was...
The 18-year-old had stabbed himself four times in the neck and chest with a pair of scissors. Alone in his dorm room, he had suddenly felt trapped, convinced that the only way to get out was to kill himself.
When he woke up hours later in a pool of blood, the psychedelic trip that had gripped him was waning. Horrified, he managed to call an ambulance. As he recovered, the college student...