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Extrasolar Planets: Bigger and More Mortal

Many of the stars and planets found by the Kepler spacecraft are not earthlike. Also, astronomers have seen planets destroyed by their stars.

Public Invited to Participate in Astrobiology's Future

NASA's Astrobiology Program is charting a new roadmap for future projects, and the public is allowed to voice its opinions.

Trouble for Mars Lifers

Evidence disputes Mars water, let alone life. It's looking like a toxic place. Besides, where would the water come from?

Saturn's Rings Impacted by Meteoroids

Cassini has observed clouds of dust from meteoroids hitting the rings. The data will "impact" theories of the rings' origin and age.

Major Cosmic Questions Remain Unanswered

Some basic ideas about physics and astronomy remain so mysterious, and their explanations so flexible, they may lead some to question whether they should be called "hard sciences."

Latest Attempt to Explain Homochirality Underscores the Problem

Finding that some stars emit circularly polarized light will not help explain why life uses only left-handed amino acids.

SETI, Said He, Isn't Ready, Said She

The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is like a detective story without a body. All those new planets, but no signal—at least not one that most scientists will accept.

What's New in the Primordial Soup?

The bubbling froth percolates with ideas about how life "emerged," each new notion trying to outdo the last in vacuity.

Using Finagle's Rules in Cosmology

Fudging and finagling often underlie the confident-sounding claims of cosmologists.

Bimbo Eruptions in the Solar System

Planetary origin theories come across as popular and charismatic, till some little moon pops off and says, "Yoo-hoo! Remember me?"

Targeted SETI Search Hears Nothing

For this search, a team targeted 104 stars with planets discovered by the Kepler Telescope. Still nothing.

Was Charlemagne Protected from a Cosmic Disaster? A Carbon-14 Mystery

Tree ring data from the 8th century hint that a cosmic catastrophe was averted on the "privileged planet."

Cosmology's Lumpiness Problem "Defies Theory"

A record-breaking structure in the universe "defies theory," the news said, ignoring that theory has been defied for decades since smaller large structures were found (the lumpiness problem).

A Brain Wouldn't Survive Star Travel

Don't take a star trek unless you want to arrive demented.

Astronomy Grab Bag

For year's end, here's a clean-out of astronomy articles—from planetary science to cosmology—to motivate further inquiry.
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