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Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Black Holes: Incredibly Loud and Extremely Distant

This post is the third in a series that accompanies the upcoming publication of my book ‘Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos’ (Scientific American/FSG)...

July 16, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

Calling All Sentient Lifeforms

Galileo spacecraft images us (NASA/JPL) You may notice that today is the one year anniversary of the Scientific American blog network. You may also notice that across the blogs this morning is a shared theme; time for the readers to speak up...

July 5, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf


  Watch out! There's a lot of stuff up there... This has been an extraordinary week for planets (moons), exoplanets, and astrobiology. I'm hard pushed to write properly about all these things but sometimes the sheer tidal mass of discoveries tells its own story.   And tidal masses is the first one up...

June 29, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Hole

Every so often in the summer months I allow myself a bit of leeway with posts, because as fun as it is to write about real science, it’s also a lot of fun to write pure speculation.

June 25, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

Black Holes are Everywhere

Holes are everywhere, if you look... This post is the second in a series that accompanies the upcoming publication of my book 'Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos' (Scientific American/FSG)...

June 11, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Venus Movies

As a final hurrah for the 2012 Venus transit of the Sun, here are some beautiful time-lapse movies from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory; an orbiting telescope that can image the Sun in a variety of narrow wavebands, from visible light to ultraviolet and extreme-ultraviolet, probing the different temperature structures at the solar surface.First up, the ingress of Venus in the 30.4 nanometer waveband - viewing the solar chromosphere and transition region at temperatures of around 50,000 Kelvin: Next, the full transit in the 17.1 nanometer band - viewing the 'quiet' corona and upper transition region at temperatures of around 630,000 Kelvin: Here we have ingress again, in the 19.3 nanometer band, probing the corona and hot flare structure at about 1.2 to 20 million Kelvin: And finally, the last view of Venus in transit for more than the next 100 years, egress at 17.1 nanometers, probing the 630,000 Kelvin temperature structures:...

June 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

From Andromeda With Love

Here comes another galaxy... (Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger) Some recent research on the long-term future of the Milky Way prompted me to dig out and re-polish this post from the Life, Unbounded archives of 2010...

June 1, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

A Dragon in the Sky: Space X

As the docking attempt between the Dragon cargo vehicle and the International Space Station gets underway, here are some of the latest images, plus the LIVE stream to the Dragon/ISS docking at the bottom!...

May 25, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

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