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feature

Today's weather forecast: Good with a strong chance of improvement

Weather forecasts have improved significantly — roughly one day per decade — since the first numerical, physics-based computer models were implemented in the 1950s. What is needed to continue improving our forecasts?
 
18 Oct 2016

Philae: Achievement and disappointment

Rosetta’s Philae lander made the first landing on the surface of a comet when it touched down on Nov. 12, 2014, three months after Rosetta began orbiting 67P. The landing, though historic, did not go as planned, and Philae was unable to accomplish much of the scientific program that had been scheduled for its 10 instruments.

30 Sep 2016

Rosetta mission ends with a bang: But the discoveries will continue

Rosetta crashed onto the surface of a comet on Sept. 30, bringing its mission to an end, though the scientific analysis and discoveries will continue for decades. We examine a few of the biggest surprises and highlights of Rosetta’s scientific journey so far.

30 Sep 2016

What's in a name: Rosetta, Philae, and 67P?

All of the names associated with the Rosetta mission, including the orbiter itself, the lander and all of the place names coined by mission scientists on 67P, refer to ancient Egyptian sites or deities, in homage to the Egyptian origin of the Rosetta Stone and Philae obelisk.

30 Sep 2016

Rosetta's journey

Launch date: March 2, 2004

Launch place: French Guiana

Launch mass: Rosetta: 2,900 kilograms; Philae: 100 kilograms

Rosetta dimensions: 2.8 x 2.1 x 2.0 meters, plus two 14-meter solar panels

30 Sep 2016

Travels in Geology: Guatemala's Volcan Pacaya: A feast for the senses

Guatemala is home to 22 volcanoes, several of which visitors can climb. The most popular is the active Volcán Pacaya; the hike is relatively easy, the views spectacular, and visitors can roast marshmallows near the summit. 

28 Sep 2016

Thirsty business: How the tech industry is bracing for a water-scarce future

Today’s technologies — from smartphones to laptops to smart appliances to cloud computing — require tremendous amounts of water, some of which is needed to cool large heat-generating data centers. Some of the biggest names in tech, along with government agencies and smaller businesses, are taking innovative approaches to deal with water issues — including placing facilities in the high desert. 

18 Sep 2016

Travels in Geology: Limestone and legends in Northern Vietnam

The stunning jade islands, turquoise bays and rugged spires of Northern Vietnam are one of the world's best places to explore karst topography.

07 Sep 2016

Observers at the edge of the ice: Smaller, cheaper machines can safely go where humans can't

Glaciologists want to get as close to ice as possible, but safety is a concern. Enter drones, automated kayaks and disposable remote ice-monitoring devices.
28 Aug 2016

Hominid vs. hominin

Before genetics came along and revealed just how closely modern humans and chimpanzees are related, humans were classified in their own family, Hominidae, separate from old world monkeys, which were in the family Pongidae.

21 Aug 2016

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