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Supernova Dating and Classification Is Not Simple

Bang! goes a star. Watch how fast its contents move, and you know the date, right? Watch its light curve, and you know the type, right?

Turning Astrobiology Surprises Into Evolutionary Fiction

There's never been a surprise that a good astrobiologist hasn't been able to spin into an evolutionary tale.

Venus Transit Recalls Adventures of Yore

Today's transit of Venus, in which our sister planet appears to cross the disk of the sun, will be the last till 2117. As observatories and millions of people watch the rare planetary alignment, few may know the stories of astronomers who predicted them and explorers who risked life and limb to observe them.

Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming

Much as astrobiologists would like to see the birth of a new planet, the ones we observe seem to be dying, not being born.

Snowflake Designers

Could any “useless” natural object composed of simple materials exceed the beauty of a snow crystal? As you wish for a white Christmas, think about two snowflake designers: one who makes them in a lab, and one who makes them in clouds.

Earth’s Twin: What Does “Potentially Habitable” Mean?

The Kepler spacecraft has found dozens of “potentially habitable” planets around other stars, but this week announced one that some news sources are calling “Earth’s twin.”
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