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Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Deep Space, Branching Molecules, and Life’s Origins?

If biologically important organic molecules like amino acids could form in interstellar space, the implications would be enormous. On the Earth we find plenty of amino acid species inside certain types of meteorites, so at a minimum these compounds can form during the assembly of a proto-stellar, proto-planetary system (at least this one) and end [...]..

September 30, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Two New Arrivals Send Back Pictures Of Mars

The skies of Mars just got a little more crowded. On September 21st, 2014 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) fired its engines for some 33 minutes in order to swing into a safe orbit...

September 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
C-SPAN’s ‘After Words’ Discusses Our Cosmic Status

C-SPAN’s ‘After Words’ Discusses Our Cosmic Status

Ever feel that broadcast TV fails to tackle the big issues? I don’t mean the state of the economy, healthcare, the future of clean energy, or what B-list celebrities had for breakfast – I mean the Really Big Issues...

September 23, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Biggest Cosmological Problem Is…

The Biggest Cosmological Problem Is…

…living in a place that makes doing cosmology hard. Let’s backtrack a little. Unless you’ve been living under a particularly thick and insulating rock you’ll know that in recent months the world of experimental cosmology (what would have previously been called observational cosmology, or just plain old astronomy) has been on tenterhooks waiting to see [...]..

September 22, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Interstellar Space Can Be Pebbly

We’re used to thinking of the space between the stars as void, bereft of all but the most sparsely distributed atoms and molecules, or the occasional microscopic grain of silicon or carbon dust...

August 29, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Great Alien Debate (Part 1)

This post is one in a series covering, and expanding on, topics in the book The Copernicus Complex (Scientific American/FSG).           The conversation usually goes like this: Do you think we’re alone in the universe?...

August 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

New Horizons Mission Catches Pluto And Charon Waltzing

After a ten year journey, NASA’s New Horizons mission is still 420 million kilometers from the Pluto system – but that’s close enough to begin to see the orbital dance of an icy world and its major moon...

August 8, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Copernicus Complex: A Primer

In a month’s time, the end result of two-and-a-half years of research, thinking, writing, re-writing, re-re-writing, editing, mulling, puzzling, coffee-drinking, beer-swilling, swearing, and tweaking will hit the shelves in the form of my new book The Copernicus Complex...

August 5, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Summer Shorts: A Record 25 Miles On Mars

Summer Shorts: A Record 25 Miles On Mars

It's summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet...

July 31, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Summer Shorts: 101 Geysers Point To Enceladus’ Deep Ocean

It's summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet...

July 29, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Blog Index

Introducing Scientific American Health & Medicine

Introducing Scientific American Health & Medicine