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Atom & Cosmos

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Allen Telescope Array

SEEKING E.T.  The Allen Telescope Array, located at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in California, searches for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Astronomer Jill Tarter, the subject of the new book Making Contact worked to construct the telescope in the face of funding difficulties.

microlensing illustration

QUICK FLASH  The light from a distant star may temporarily brighten when a free-floating planet passes in front of the star. This artist’s illustration shows how a rogue planet’s gravity distorts and focuses distant starlight as a ring around the planet.

synestia illustration

PUFFED UP  Early in its development, a rocky planet may turn into a synestia (illustrated), a spinning disk of vaporized rock that looks like a jelly-filled doughnut with a small, solid core (gray).

Atom & Cosmos

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