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  • Pluto's mountains
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  • Letters to the Editor

    Lucy's new neighbor, downloading New Horizon's data and more reader feedback

    New Horizons phones home

    In “Pluto: Explored” (SN: 6/27/15, p. 16), Christopher Crockett chronicled New Horizons’ long journey to the dwarf planet. He followed up with a report on the successful flyby in “Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view” (SN: 8/8/15, p. 6).

    “Having read that early images of Pluto encoded in radio waves would take 4.5 hours to reach Earth from the New Horizons space...

    08/12/2015 - 13:56 Astronomy, Neuroscience, Human Evolution
  • News

    Mission to Pluto: Live coverage

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Astronomy writer Christopher Crockett wrote several updates from mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md., from July 12-15, and reviewed some of the mission's major milestones from the last several months. Check our Mission to Pluto editor’s pick for the latest on New Horizons...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Software Scientist

    Games such as chess have long been mastered by thinking machines. But weightier intellectual feats, such as deducing the laws of nature, have remained the domain of living, breathing brainiacs — until now.

    A new computer program called Eureqa comes up with fundamental mathematical laws, the great equations of textbooks and history, from scratch. Feed Eureqa a mess of raw...

    12/30/2011 - 09:46 Technology
  • Feature

    Breaking it Down

    Suppose there was a fourth little pig. This one was a physicist. Unlike his brother the engineer, who built a house out of tried-and-true bricks, the physicist pig chose a building material by doing calculations based on fundamental principles. He settled on a substance made from silicon and oxygen, an abundant material with high bond strength and the aesthetic bonus of transparency. It was...

    01/29/2010 - 14:02
  • Feature

    Images from the Edge

    David Schiminovich stared at a gallery of spiral galaxies as though he had never seen anything like them before. Indeed, no one had. He sat downloading the newly collected images in a narrow room overlooking a cavernous space at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In that space, the mirror for the Palomar Telescope—until the mid 1970s, the world's largest telescope—had been...

    02/15/2005 - 18:19 Astronomy
  • Feature

    Digital Cells

    Imagine a future in which a single drop of water holds a veritable army of living robots; in which people download software updates not for their computers, but for their bacteria; and in which specially programmed cells course through a person's arteries, monitoring blood sugar concentrations and keeping an eye out for cholesterol buildups.

    These...

    04/21/2003 - 10:56 Technology
  • Feature

    Guessing Secrets

    Even on uneventful days, traffic on the Internet can sometimes stutter to a crawl. It gets much worse when millions of people go online at the same time to view the latest images from a Mars expedition, download a trailer for an upcoming Star Wars movie, or take in a titillating fashion show. The mushrooming demand on such days can rapidly clog this worldwide web of computer networks, causing...

    04/01/2002 - 13:07 Numbers
  • Feature

    Sneaky Calculations

    Browsing the World Wide Web is a breeze. Just click on a link or type in a Web-page identifier–the so-called uniform resource locator, or URL. More often than not, the requested page appears on your screen within seconds, downloaded from a computer that could be anywhere in the world.

    We owe such reliable, speedy service to a standard set of procedures that governs...

    11/13/2001 - 16:21 Computing
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year

    12/21/1996 - 00:00
  • Feature

    Books

    11/03/1990 - 00:00