The Mars Curiosity Rover

The Meaning of Methane on Mars

Curiosity rover's recent report of methane on Mars isn't the first time the gas has been indicated. Does it necessarily mean that Mars harbors life?
Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Should the Moon Landing Site Be a National Historic Landmark?

Some archaeologists argue it’s essential to preserve the history of lunar exploration. But would it represent a claim of U.S. sovereignty over the moon?
Climbers ascending Mount Everest

Mount Everest’s Death Zone

The zone above 8,000 meters is known among mountaineers as the “Death Zone.” Why do most deaths in the high mountains occur at these extreme heights?
Hurricane Rita

Controlling a Hurricane

In the mid-20th century, the United States government invested in two major projects designed to control hurricanes by seeding the storm clouds.
Tehran, Iran

Why People Live In Earthquake Zones

Millions of people now live atop fault lines because long ago small communities gathered at fresh water sources.
A tornado in a field

Why Tornadoes Are So Difficult to Predict

Scientists and weather forecasters have been trying to understand tornadoes for over 100 years, but the average advanced warning is still only 14 minutes.
A constellation of satellites

Losing the Night Sky

Does an increase in satellites mean we soon won't be able to see the stars?

Lee Smolin: Science Works Because We Care to Know the Truth

Lee Smolin speaks on quantum gravity, the nature of time, the role of ethics in science, and the importance of realism.
Frozen lake Baikal near Olkhon island

Exploring Lake Baikal

The world's largest, deepest freshwater lake is home to hundreds of species that don't live anywhere else on Earth. But it's threatened by climate change.
The wreck of the H.M.S. Deal Castle off Puerto Rico, in the hurricane of 1780 with the crew escaping on a raft, by John Thomas Serres

The Dramatic Waves That Sink Ships

Rogue waves are becoming larger and more dangerous. But even long-term studies have not made these waves any easier to predict or avoid.