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Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Aurorae from Earth, Space, and on Other Worlds

Southern aurora (aurora australis) composited with NASA imagery As we're in the midst of experiencing some particularly stormy solar weather it seems appropriate to make a quick post with some nifty auroral images and time-lapse movies (see below).

January 25, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

Encounter at Dawn: Stephen Hawking, me, and an ATM

A black hole lenses the light of the Milky Way in the background (Credit: Ute Kraus amd Axel Mellinger) This weekend Stephen Hawking turns 70, an extraordinary physical accomplishment to add to an extraordinary list of physics accomplishments.

January 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Austere Beauty of Other Worlds

The Austere Beauty of Other Worlds

In the northern winter months we are surrounded by the stark beauty of chilled landscapes. From the darkness of the far north, broken perhaps only by starlight and the glow of aurora, to the brisk grey streets of Manhattan and its now skeletal trees with their claw-like limbs and knobbly stubs pressed to the skies, [...]

December 30, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

The Sun rising above the Arctic plain (H. D. Nygren, NOAA Corps.) As our spinning globe of rock and metal tracks its steady path around the Sun, we find ourselves crossing once again through the winter solstice, the point at which Earth's northern pole is pointed as far from our fierce stellar parent as it can be (this year at a coordinated universal time of 5.30 am on December the 22nd, almost the same as 5.30 am Greenwich Mean Time).

December 21, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

A Planet on Fire

A strange chemical reaction Imagine, if you will, a planet with atmosphere, oceans, rocks and life. On this planet, most chemical reactions are either slow and geophysical, or quick and biological but very localized.

December 14, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

Exoplanets: I'll Stop the World and Melt With You

What lies beneath such turbulent skies? (NASA/JPL) Gas giant planets are among the most beautiful and awe-inspiring worlds. In our own solar system we've long gazed at Jupiter's extraordinary swirling atmosphere, where stormy circulations like the Great Red Spot persist for centuries.

December 2, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

Blog Index

Why Do Facts Fail?

Why Do Facts Fail?

Deconstructing Denial