Author Archives: The Sciences | Discover Magazine

How Old Family Fishing Photos Unlock the History of Atlantic Fisheries

One captain’s old fishing photos grew into a citizen science project called FISHstory. Researchers hope it can teach them about the health of today’s fish populations.  Continue reading

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Game Theory Focuses the Hunt for Alien Civilizations Onto Just One Star

Our galaxy contains billions of exoplanets. Now game theory has narrowed the search for ones that might host intelligent life and be worth contacting to a single star in the constellation of Taurus. Continue reading

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Humankind’s Origins, Medical Mysteries and Robots: Check Out These Must-Read Science Books

Looking for a good science book but aren’t sure of where to start? We’ve got you covered. Continue reading

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Who Puts the Right into “The Right Stuff”?

Tom Wolfe’s classic account of the early days of spaceflight has migrated to TV, with help from some seasoned insiders. Continue reading

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Six Galaxies Trapped in the Web of an Ancient Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers have discovered a half-dozen galaxies, which formed within the first billion years of the universe, blockading a supermassive black hole. Continue reading

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How We Will Really Find E.T. — Not with a Message, But with a Molecule

The grand discovery of alien life is likely to come in the form of frustratingly subtle chemical clues. Continue reading

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Salty Lakes Found Beneath Mars’ Surface

New research adds fresh evidence for salty lakes below the red planet’s south pole. Continue reading

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First Evidence of a Planet in Another Galaxy

The Milky Way is filled with planets. Now astronomers have found the first candidate planet in another galaxy. Continue reading

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Astronomers Spy Phosphine on Venus, a Potential Sign of Life

On Earth, the toxic gas is produced by microbial life. Could the same be true on Venus? Now, the debate begins. Continue reading

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The Curious Question of Life on Venus

Venus should be a priority for future visits, but not because of the surprising discovery of a biomarker in its atmosphere this week. Continue reading

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5 Science Projects Where Human Volunteers Help Machines Make New Discoveries

With the help of citizen science volunteers, researchers are using artificial intelligence to try and make scientific breakthroughs. Continue reading

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Scientists Detect First Mid-Sized Black Hole via Gravitational Waves

Thanks to LIGO and Virgo detectors, scientists have finally heard the 7-billion-year-old ‘bang’ from the creation of an intermediate-mass black hole. Continue reading

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These Tiny Boats Can Float Upside Down on Levitating Liquid

Seeing is believing — but the science behind this trick is more than meets the eye. Continue reading

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Watch Out: Objects in the Universe are Bigger than They Appear

Distant galaxies loom large in the sky, and butt right into our personal space. Continue reading

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How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Preparing Humanity for First Contact

When the first message from an alien intelligence arrives, our experience with COVID-19 could help us plan a suitable response, says researchers. Continue reading

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Does the Butterfly Effect Exist? Maybe, But Not in the Quantum Realm

An experiment tested whether the phenomenon holds up in a quantum computer simulation. Continue reading

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What Does the Future of Astronomy Hold? We’ll Find Out Soon

Astronomers gear up for another 10-year survey to figure out which telescope projects will make the cut. Continue reading

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What Does the Future of Astronomy Hold? We’ll Find Out Soon

Astronomers gear up for another 10-year survey to figure out which telescope projects will make the cut. Continue reading

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How Floating Microbes Could Live in the Acid Clouds of Venus

A team of planetary scientists has proposed a hypothetical life cycle that could allow microbes to survive on Venus by migrating between different atmospheric layers. Continue reading

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The Science Books We’re Reading in Fall 2020

Is there anything better than cozying up with a great read? Fall into the life of an astronaut, wartime science or the ever-changing brain. Continue reading

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New Class of Planet Can Form Around Black Holes, Say Astronomers

The dust clouds around supermassive black holes are the perfect breeding ground for an exotic new type of planet. Continue reading

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Hot ‘Blob’ Points to a Neutron Star Lurking in Supernova 1987A

Astronomers have long suspected a city-sized neutron star hides within the dusty shroud of SN 1987A. And now, they’re closer than ever to proving their case. Continue reading

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40 Years Ago: Voyager 1 Approaches Saturn

The world was waiting for Voyager’s encounter with Saturn when Discover’s debut issue hit newsstands in 1980. Since then, the Voyager spacecraft have boldly gone where no probes have gone before. Continue reading

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Crew Dragon Safely Returns Astronauts to Earth, Despite Minor Hiccup

The astronauts’ exit from the capsule was slightly delayed by noxious gas, but they ultimately made it back to Earth unscathed. Continue reading

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What Apollo 18 Can Teach Us About COVID-19

The moon mission that never happened illustrates the difference between what we can do, and what we choose to do. Continue reading

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Hovering, Flying and Hopping Across the Solar System

NASA’s Mars helicopter is about to take space travel where it has never gone before. Continue reading

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Online Science Talks For All Ages, Brought to You by Your Local Library

A new summer series called Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science is designed to keep students and adults engaged with reading and research to prevent “summer slide” learning loss. Continue reading

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So You Know What Generation You Belong To — What Does That Even Mean?

Probably not a whole lot. Continue reading

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How Astronomers Learned to ‘Listen’ to Gravitational Waves

Since confirming the existence of ripples in the fabric of space-time some five years ago, the LIGO/Virgo collaboration has advanced gravitational-wave research by leaps and bounds. Continue reading

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How to Explore the Stars Without Ever Leaving Home

A “Dynamic Orbital Slingshot” could be just the thing for visiting interstellar comets while they’re blazing through our solar system. Continue reading

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