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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Zoom Through a Stunning Panorama of the Milky Way

Do yourself a favor. Don't read this article just yet--first, take a moment to zoom around this incredible panorama of our galaxy and soak in the splendor: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/glimpse360/aladin...

March 22, 2014 — Clara Moskowitz

Will Ferrell and Robert Redford Argue over the Colorado River

Well, okay, it's a fake argument. But the issue the two famous actors are bantering about is very real: restoring the Colorado River. Rather than preach, Robert Redford and Will Ferrell have made five humorous public service videos to get people's attention...

March 21, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

Clouds Threaten Rare Chance to See Star “Wink” Over New York

Gloomy weather over New York could drown out a rare opportunity to see a bright star disappear from the sky very early tomorrow morning during what's known as an "occultation." The star Regulus, one of the brightest points in the constellation Leo, should appear to "wink out" for about 14 seconds when the asteroid (163) [...]..

March 19, 2014 — Clara Moskowitz
Self-Driving Cars Are a Modern Miracle Waiting to Happen

Self-Driving Cars Are a Modern Miracle Waiting to Happen

When Bran Ferren was 9 years old his parents took him to the Pantheon in Rome. He looked around  at the marble and sculptures, which seemed typical in the ancient city, and then he looked up at the ceiling, which didn't seem typical at all...

March 18, 2014 — Fred Guterl
Global Warming: Democrats and Republicans Agree

Global Warming: Democrats and Republicans Agree

Wait, what? Contrary to the polarized positions that politicians and commentators often take in the media, Americans do not disagree about global warming or what to do about it.

March 18, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

Shocked Physicist Learns His Big Bang Theory Is True [Video]

Few people were as thrilled with the big physics news today as physicist Andrei Linde. One of the main authors of inflation theory--the idea that the universe expanded incredibly rapidly just after it was born in the big bang--Linde has reason to be excited...

March 17, 2014 — Clara Moskowitz

Mathematical Patterns in Sea Ice Reveal Melt Dynamics

Some people call Ken Golden the "Indiana Jones" of mathematics due to his frequent excursions to remote, harsh parts of the world. Golden, a professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, studies the dynamics of sea ice, and he regularly goes out into the field to test his hypotheses...

March 13, 2014 — Geoffrey Giller

Why Big Data Isn't Necessarily Better Data

Tech companies--Facebook, Google and IBM, to name a few--are quick to tout the world-changing powers of "big data" gleaned from mobile devices, Web searches, citizen science projects and sensor networks...

March 13, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier

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