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  • illustration of New Horizons journey to Pluto
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  • Feature

    Rendezvous with Pluto

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    Tiny, far-flung Pluto is about to have a visitor — at least for a few hours.

    On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will reach the dwarf planet and try to learn all it can about Pluto and its five known moons. Then the probe will leave Pluto behind, vanishing into the frigid darkness beyond the planets.

    In its wake, New Horizons will introduce Earth to the...

    06/12/2015 - 11:55 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Feature

    The 3-D Printing Revolution

    Joshua Pearce takes unusual satisfaction in strolling through Walmart. The shelves laden with toys, household items, tools and clothing inspire in him a certain smugness, a pride in American entrepreneurship. But it’s not because Pearce admires the chain as an empire built by a self-made man. Pearce swells with pride at Walmart because the store is full of mass-manufactured objects that he...

    02/20/2013 - 23:31 Technology, Computing
  • Feature

    The Digital Camera Revolution

    Take a grainy, blurred image of a formless face or an illegible license plate, and with a few keystrokes the picture sharpens and the killer is caught — if you’re a crime-scene tech on TV. From Harrison Ford in Blade Runner to CSI, Criminal Minds and NCIS, the zoom-and-enhance maneuver has become such a staple of Hollywood dramas that it’s mocked with video montages on YouTube.

    ...
    01/13/2012 - 06:54
  • Math Trek

    App for analyzing leafy curves lets amateur botanists identify trees

    Peter Belhumeur just wanted to know what type of tree was outside his apartment. He scanned field guides, looking for willowlike leaves with a wavy, spiked edge, but he couldn’t find the right one. Neither could his neighbors.

    As it happened, though, he was building a tool designed to address just this problem.  Belhumeur is a computer scientist at Columbia University who has worked on...

    08/29/2011 - 16:46
  • Feature

    Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean

    To those who live there, east Africa’s Afar region is “the place the devil plows.” One of the hottest and lowest areas on Earth, it is a landscape of baking desert and barren lava flows. To scientists, though, Afar means something more promising: geology in the raw.

    There, on the edge of Africa, the continent is splitting apart. Pulled inexorably by the...

    06/17/2011 - 10:30 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Biological Moon Shot

    Richard Pyle hasn't gotten a congratulatory crate of free diapers. But he's one of the fathers, in a sense, of the first fish species named in 2008. Quintuplet species even. The journal Zootaxa posted descriptions of five damselfish on Jan. 1 that Pyle and his colleagues at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu found using a specialized mix of gases to push beyond the depth limits of conventional...

    01/29/2008 - 11:13 Other
  • Feature

    Violent Developments

    Henry was headed for serious trouble. The 15-year-old provoked an endless series of fights at school and frequently bullied girls. Teachers regularly suspended him for his classroom disruptions. Older students taunted Henry in the hallways by calling him a sexual pervert or jeered him for having been held back in kindergarten. At home, his father browbeat and denigrated the boy, while his...

    05/23/2006 - 09:53 Other
  • Feature

    The Social Net

    Ten years ago, computer aficionados had the Internet pretty much to themselves. Today, their electronic playground has become a grand, weird, unpredictable social experiment. About half of U.S. households now have Internet access, although only 5 percent were connected in 1995. Europe and many other parts of the world also contain mushrooming numbers of Net users.

    ...
    04/30/2002 - 13:14 Other
  • Feature

    Science News of the Year

    12/21/1996 - 00:00
  • Feature

    Cold Facts of Life

    04/24/1993 - 00:00