ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network
Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded


Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology
Life, Unbounded HomeAboutContact
  • Profile

    Caleb A. Scharf Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center. He has worked in the fields of observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, and more recently exoplanetary science. His latest book is 'Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos', and he is working on 'The Copernicus Complex' (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow on Twitter @caleb_scharf.
  • Copernicus in Cleveland

    514px-Nikolaus_Kopernikus

    What is our cosmic significance? Does it even make sense to ask a question like that? If you happen to find yourself in Cleveland, Ohio this coming Thursday evening, and stop by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History at 8pm you can catch me talking about this. As part of their Frontiers of Astronomy series [...]

    Keep reading »

    What do NYC Streets and Asteroids Have in Common?

    800px-Newport_Whitepit_Lane_pot_hole

                        Fatigue, that’s what. As a particularly frigid winter recedes across the north and east of the United States (we’ve become accustomed to milder weather in past years), the abuse suffered by asphalt roads is becoming apparent. If you’ve taken any form of surface transport recently [...]

    Keep reading »

    The Unstoppable Extinction And Fermi’s Paradox

    Really, this is what I evolved into? (Images used: Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS, Matt Martyniuk)

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about the evidence that we are currently within a period of mass extinction, the kind of event that will show up in the fossil record a few million years from now as a clear discontinuity, a radical change in the diversity of life on the planet. This [...]

    Keep reading »

    This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

    dont panic.001

    In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]

    Keep reading »

    Rock-Eating Martian Microbes?

    (Credit: White et al. 2014, NASA/JPL)

    A recently published study of a 30-pound martian meteorite found in Antarctica suggests the presence of indigenous carbon-rich material, ancient water erosion, and a number of tiny structures that resemble the sort of features that we see rock-eating microbes leaving in basaltic glasses here on Earth. This rock, Yamato 000593, appears to have formed 1.3 [...]

    Keep reading »

    So You Want To Be An Exozookeeper?

    Kepler's tally of exoplanets (Credit: NASA Ames/SETI/J Rowe)

                      This week has seen the release of the latest set of ‘confirmed’ exoplanets from NASA’s Kepler mission. In total, 715 worlds have been added to the list of what are thought to be genuine Kepler planet detections (previously standing at 246). If you’re confused because you’ve [...]

    Keep reading »

    Your Friendly Neighborhood Asteroid Swarm

    (NEAR Project, NLR, JHUAPL, Goddard SVS, NASA)

    The solar system is full of bits and pieces, remnants of its heyday of activity 4.5 billion years ago. Planets are the most noticeable fossil leftovers, with giant Jupiter being two and a half times more massive that the sum total of the other major worlds. There’s also a vast assortment of far smaller bodies, [...]

    Keep reading »

    Mystery of Mars ‘Doughnut’ Rock Solved

    (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ).

    About a month ago an intriguing pair of images from NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars showed a curious rock that had seemingly appeared our of nowhere during the course of 12 days. This small, brightly hued rock clearly had a fresh surface, suggesting that it was either broken off from somewhere or previously buried. So [...]

    Keep reading »

    Water Erupts Across the Solar System

    Europa erupts (Credit: NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI)

    Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress. First, Saturn’s diminutive moon Enceladus continues to spew what we think are giant sprays of salty water from gnarled creases in its southern icy surface – captured in glorious imagery by the Cassini spacecraft over [...]

    Keep reading »

    The Jumping Rocks of Mars

    Before...and after (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

    Now you don’t see it, now you do. Ten years into a mission that was originally going to only last a few months, NASA’s Opportunity rover continues to turn up surprises on Mars. In this case quite literally. Take a look at the following pair of images from the rover’s location at ‘Solander Point’, up [...]

    Keep reading »

    Search this blog:


    • Year:
    • Month:
    • Keyword:

    More from Scientific American

    Scientific American MIND iPad

    Give a Gift & Get a Gift - Free!

    Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

    Subscribe Now >>

    X

    Email this Article

    X