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November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

A Crater By Any Other Name

It’s been just over two weeks since the MESSENGER spacecraft swooped past Mercury during its second flyby of the innermost planet. Since the initial fervor, the MESSENGER team has been faithfully releasing images collected during the close encounter, some of which are providing data-hungry scientists with fodder for speculation about Mercury’s geologic processes. Today’s offering…

Mars’s “Death Star” Moon Just a Pile of Rubble

There’s always a twinkle in a science writer’s eye when real life imitates art. In 2005 we had a snapshot of gases and dust around a star that seemed to be auditioning for the next Lord of the Rings film. Then in 2007 there came the news that the universe could be packed with double-sunned…

Mission to Mercury: Just the Facts

—Image courtesy NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington NASA’s MESSENGER space probe sent some postcards home this morning from its second jaunt past Mercury, that tiny planet nearest to the sun. The flyby is part of some maneuvering MESSENGER has to do to ease itself from orbiting the sun to orbiting Mercury.…

Was Hubble a DeLorean in Another Life?

Sometimes it must seem like the Hubble Space Telescope is a time traveler. Within hours of Hubble making headlines because it shut itself down due to a serious mechanical failure, mission scientists released a survey of galactic diversity based on new Hubble images. NGC 253, Sculptor Group galaxy, 13 million light-years away —Image courtesy NASA,…