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E.g., 07/27/2015
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  • News

    Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view

    LAUREL, Md. — Alan Stern, head of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, had just three words for the team of scientists and engineers assembled with him on July 14: “We did it.”

    At 8:52:37 p.m. Eastern time, a radio antenna near Madrid received the first signal from the spacecraft since it buzzed the dwarf planet. After decades of planning and a 9....

    07/26/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Ice flows, haze offer more clues to Pluto’s geology

    Exotic ices flow across Pluto’s surface, and its reddish color appears to come from a thin haze, the latest report from the New Horizons spacecraft reveals. The new finds have set scientists scrambling to construct the story of how Pluto’s climate and weather work.

    A stunning image of the dwarf planet in silhouette, released July 24, reveals a layer of haze extending at least 130...

    07/24/2015 - 18:02 Planetary Science
  • News

    Best cosmic ‘cradles of life’ may be elliptical in shape

    There’s plenty of real estate in the universe, but some neighborhoods are more desirable than others.

    Giant elliptical galaxies that are more than twice as massive as the Milky Way are far more likely to harbor habitable worlds, researchers suggest. These galactic giants can produce up to 10,000 times as many Earthlike planets as our galaxy, astrophysicist Pratika Dayal and colleagues...

    07/24/2015 - 07:00 Astrobiology, Exoplanets
  • News

    Kepler telescope identifies new ‘habitable zone’ planet

    NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered a “cousin” of Earth 1,400 light-years away.

    The exoplanet Kepler 452b orbits a sunlike star at about the same distance as Earth orbits the sun, scientists reported at a news conference July 23. The discovery is the first confirmed planet among 500 candidates newly identified by the...

    07/23/2015 - 16:25 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • 50 Years Ago

    First craters on Mars spotted 50 years ago

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    Craters found on Mars — Astronomers are speculating whether the surfaces of other bodies in the solar system, besides Earth’s moon and Mars, are covered with craters from meteorite strikes...

    07/23/2015 - 16:05 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Search for E.T. gets financial boost

    First contact with an alien civilization might now be in the hands of a Russian billionaire.

    Yuri Milner, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is throwing $100 million at the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Powerful radio and optical telescopes will be drafted to listen and look for interstellar broadcasts, Milner ...

    07/20/2015 - 17:45 Astrobiology, Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • News in Brief

    Latest dispatch from Pluto reveals frozen plains, icy hills and more

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    Frozen plains, etched with a network of polygons bordered by shallow troughs, stretch away from Pluto’s icy mountains and through Pluto’s “heart.” Some troughs are filled with dark material, possibly irradiated hydrocarbons, while others are home to icy hills, New Horizons mission scientists announced at a July 17 news conference.

    As with...

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

    Elusive particle shows up in ‘semimetal’

    A kind of particle first predicted to exist before the discovery of Pluto has been spotted on Earth within a compound of tantalum and arsenic.

    The newly discovered particles, known as Weyl fermions, resemble massless electrons that dart around and through the material in unusual and exciting ways, researchers report July 16 in ...

    07/16/2015 - 14:00 Condensed Matter, Particle Physics
  • 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...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science
  • Editor's Note

    Putting time's mysteries in order

    A tick, a tock, a swiftly shifting digit. We have many ways of keeping track of time. We parse it into years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds. We mark its movement obsessively, plan our days around it, use its form to bring meaning to stories with a...

    07/15/2015 - 11:05 Neuroscience, Cosmology, Physiology