Life on Comets? Or a Scientist who Cried Wolf

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.’ Such is the case with the search for life. Any scientist who finds direct evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life had better be sure. And then once they are sure they had better find too much evidence because people will still not believe […]

New Horizons Loses Contact with Earth on Final Approach to Pluto

On July 4th, for about an hour and twenty minutes, my heart stopped. This was the amount of time that New Horizons was quiet.  No contact, no data, nothing but the lonely black of space.  In this time, the craft did what it was programmed to do.  It transferred control to its backup computer, which […]

Rosetta Finds Comet Sinkholes Similar to Earth

When the Rosetta spacecraft entered orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, first images captured deep circular depressions among the other surface features.  Now that the orbiter has taken significant observations of the comet’s surface, the science team has concluded that these depressions are actually sinkholes that form by the same processes that form sinkholes 500 Million kilometers […]

Two Weeks to Pluto! Latest News from Final Approach

As is the case with any final approach to a new object, the early images, with their horrible resolution, pixelated appearance, and possibly false features due to processing, lead to significant speculation on what we will see as the craft approaches. It was the same a few months ago with Ceres. I personally love the blurry […]

Venus and Jupiter Hit the Bullseye

For the last few months, Venus and Jupiter have been visible in the night sky.  Venus makes it’s usual 584 day cycle, becoming an ‘evening star’ once again, reaching far from the Sun in the West, while still following our central star.  Jupiter has slowly worked its way westward over the past few months, due […]