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Observations

Observations

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

STEREO spacecraft peek at both sides of the sun at once

NASA's STEREO mission has lived up to its name, placing two spacecraft in position to observe both sides of the sun simultaneously. Most solar missions are in mono, so to speak—they rely on a single observatory, from which only one hemisphere of the sun is visible at any given time...

February 7, 2011 — John Matson

What Would Reagan Do? Check the MRI

A debate rages on whether President Reagan did or didn't have Alzheimer's disease during his time in office.With what we have learned in the last decade about the disease, the question is relatively meaningless, except perhaps to score political points.The simple answer: of course he did.The newest technology—consisting of imaging and spinal taps—shows  that the disease process begins its relentless course as many as 15 years before a firm diagnosis...

February 7, 2011 — Gary Stix

Bush-league male mates stress out female finches

Whether they are finding love in a flock or a lab, female Gouldian finches ( Erythrura gouldiae ) know what they're looking for: a fit male with head feathers that match their own.

February 1, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

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