Author Archives: Caleb A. Scharf

The Zoomable Universe

Reality as we know it spans 63 orders of magnitude in scale, and now all of that is in one book

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Spacecraft Flies By a Habitable Planet

Echoing a famous experiment, the OSIRIS-REx mission treats Earth as a target of opportunity

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Putting Odds on the Human Future

We’ve got a doomsday clock, how about a set of running odds on what happens to us?

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How to Predict a Hostile Alien Invasion

It’s hardly the most pressing concern for Earth, but there might be a way to forewarn ourselves

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Saturn Looms

The end of the Cassini mission is presaged by unique and extraordinary images

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For an Almost Daily Eclipse, Go to Mars

Earth may get great solar eclipses, but they don’t happen all the time

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Are Tardigrades Really That Tough?

Astrophysical events may have a hard time sterilizing Earth-analogue worlds, based on the example of water bears. But is it this simple?

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Chasing Consciousness, and the Information Revolution

A new institute gains steam, together with a new set of ideas on matter, life and information

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Astrobiology Roundup: Planet Nine, Planet 8.1 and Sweaty Skin

Planets in the outer solar system and terrestrial microbes in unexpected places

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Complex Life: Wimpy or Tough?

Complex life may be less resilient than microbial life by some measures, but it’s not necessarily cosmically delicate

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Fun with Gravitational Waves

Even the Earth–sun system radiates gravitational waves, but just how powerful are they?

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Jupiter Now Has 69 Moons

Our local gas giant has two more natural satellites added to its roster

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Take an HD Ride around Jupiter [Video]

An exquisite time-lapse of our local, surprisingly complex gas giant

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Alone on Mars for 150 Months

The Martian has already happened, just not with a human

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Exocomets Light Up 100 Billion Kilometers of Space

A remarkable new image reveals the teething pains of an entire planetary system

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The Crazy Scale of Human Carbon Emission

Want some perspective on how much carbon dioxide human activity produces? Here it is

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New Evidence for Hydrothermal Havens in Enceladus

Spurting out molecular hydrogen and water, the icy moon Enceladus looks even tastier in the search for life

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The Real Expanse

Human colonization of space would be terrifyingly hard, and that’s the best thing about it

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Astrobiology Roundup: Dust Traps, Juno, Mars Lava and more

What’s happening in the universe?

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Churchill the Astrobiologist?

Newly released writings by Winston Churchill on life in the universe reinforce how keenly scientific his thinking was

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Ancient Meteorites Were Different

Types of rocky meteorites rare today were abundant 466 million years ago

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Despair Not This Earth

Rational thinking, creativity and wonder are powerful tools in the universe

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Vast Shadow Sweeps Across Young Exoplanetary System

18 years of Hubble Telescope data on a star system reveals a surprising phenomenon spanning tens of billions of miles

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NASA’s 50 Years of Mars Exploration [Video]

Humans have been visiting and exploring Mars for more than half a century, and NASA has released a video celebrating the agency’s remarkable contributions

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Another 1/230,000,000th of a Galactic Orbit

As the solar year ends, let’s try to stop being so parochial

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Earthrise Renewed

Forty-eight years ago human eyes first witnessed Earth rising over the Moon, today we can all see it in high-definition

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Fresh Ideas for Chasing Consciousness

Understanding life in the cosmos includes tackling the problem of consciousness—a new institute called YHouse intends to help

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Cassini’s Grand Finale, Part I: Ring-Grazing and Turbulence

Long-lived space mission starts a bold last-dance with gas giant Saturn

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Cassini’s Grand Finale, Part I: Ring-Grazing and Turbulence

Long-lived space mission starts a bold last-dance with gas giant Saturn

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Fermi’s Basement Paradox

Where in the world did Fermi go?

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