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  • Illustration of lander on surface of comet 67P
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  • Feature

    Rosetta readies for its close rendezvous with a comet

    View the lander interactive • View the video

    Very soon, on November 12, a spacecraft called Rosetta will sidle up to a comet, steady itself and drop a 100-kilogram robotic lander toward the hunk of rock, dust and ice. The lander, named Philae, will drift through space, tugged only slightly by the gravity of the comet, commonly called 67P. Mission scientists will be holding their...
    10/17/2014 - 15:02 Astronomy
  • Feature

    At Home in the Universe

    When Lewis and Clark started exploring the West, they didn’t know much about what lay beyond St. Louis. Neither, at first, did astronomers know much about cosmic realms beyond Uranus.

    But just as 19th century explorers filled in huge blanks on the American map, so did 20th century skywatchers flesh out a much greater map — of frontiers...

    06/01/2012 - 10:36 Atom & Cosmos
  • Feature

    In the dark

    In ancient times, listing the ingredients of the universe was simple: earth, air, fire and water. Today, scientists know that naming all of that, plus everything else familiar in everyday life, leaves out 95 percent of the cosmos’s contents.

    From the atoms that make up an astronomer, to the glass and steel of a telescope, to the hot plasma of the...

    04/08/2011 - 12:09
  • On the Scene

    Science for science writers

    Database analysis of plagiarism shows copycat science is not uncommonSkip Garner began his accidental journey into scientific misconduct investigation after he developed a computer program that could, as he put it, “help a physicist understand medicine.” Typical searches of Medline, a database of medical and other scientific research papers, rely on typed-in keywords, but his program...

    10/18/2009 - 18:41
  • News

    Stars ablaze in other skies

    Fred Adams sees stars in the most unlikely places.

    His calculations suggest that, contrary to some previous claims, stars are not only common in our cosmos but are also ablaze in myriad other universes, where the laws of physics may be drastically different. Even in a cosmos where balls of gas and dust never collapse and ignite to make conventional stars, radiation produced by black...

    08/15/2008 - 16:12 Physics, Atom & Cosmos