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Spotlight

  • Planets Are Born from Dust Trap Rings

    All we are is dust in the wind, man. The same goes for the planets and asteroids and comets. Starting from our dusty beginnings, gravity and a mess of other forces conspired to build our solar system. There’s a venerable tradition of trying to figure out what that grand and hectic process must have looked […]

  • We Discovered a Rogues’ Gallery of Monster-Sized Gas Giants

    It doesn’t feel right to see a toddler walking down the street by themselves. Toddlers don’t just go rogue, and if they do they are quickly chased down by a parent or grandparent or teacher and brought back where they belong. Most planets are like toddlers: They follow a well-behaved orbit around a star. It […]

  • The Country Gentleman of Physics

    Julian Barbour’s ideas about time and the universe have always roamed free of academia.

  • Our Little Life Is Rounded with Possibility

    Science expressed only in terms of what happens is getting in the way of progress.

  • The Joy of Condensed Matter

    Hard times in fundamental physics got you down? Let’s talk excitons.

  • Gaia, the Scientist

    What if the first woman scientist was simply the first woman?

  • The Botanist Who Defied Stalin

    His dream of feeding the world died in prison. His dream of a seed bank lives on.

  • A Lab of Her Own

    In her bedroom during WWII, she discovered how the nervous system is wired.

  • The Man Who Seduced the World with Whale Songs

    Roger Payne sparked the anti-whaling movement. He’s not done yet.

  • How “My Octopus Teacher” Defied Convention

    Craig Foster reflects on a relationship that changed his connection to the natural world.