Lab Notes

Experiencing research

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Imagine if you could test-drive your anticipated career before going through all of the effort and expense of obtaining the necessary education....

Forecasting nature

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In 1973, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke suggested that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Accurate predictions of the...

Watching stellar heartbeats

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In 1966, astronomer Olin Wilson started what would become a decades-long pursuit, searching for an answer to a simple question. Wilson knew that observations...

Making the planet great again

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In his 2001 book Who Owns the Sky, entrepreneur Peter Barnes suggests that any system designed to tax heat-trapping pollution must redistribute the revenue...

Discovering Ultima Thule

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Four billion miles from the Earth on New Year’s Eve, a spacecraft traveling at 32,000 miles per hour zoomed past a tiny object roughly...

Mining for solar storms

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In his recent book Accessory to War, astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson and coauthor Avis Lang document the historical relationship between science and the military,...

Bouncing off the satellites

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On Oct. 30, NASA finally retired the Kepler space telescope, the prolific planet-hunter that has been scanning the skies for the past nine years....

Pimping science news

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Science journalism has been declining for years, under the same media pressures that have made local news an endangered species. Boulder County is one...

Probing nearby stars

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Four miles from the launch pad, standing on the roof of the 44-story vehicle assembly building where NASA constructed the space shuttles, I hold...

Prospecting nearby worlds

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The past year has been fantastic for commercial spaceflight, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launching 18 Falcon-9 rockets in 2017. It now seems almost...

Diving into Saturn

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I finally arrive on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 15 to bear witness to the final gravitational dance...

Blocking out the sun

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As seen from Earth, a solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, partially or totally obscuring the sun....