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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
There’s no planet B | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

There’s no planet B

The scientific evidence is clear: the only celestial body that can support us is the one we evolved with. Here’s why

Arwen E Nicholson & Raphaëlle D Haywood

Thriving on Mars | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Thriving on Mars

Dust storms, long distances and freezing temperatures make living on Mars magnificently challenging. How will we do it?

Simon Morden

Telescopes on the Moon | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

Telescopes on the Moon

Our future in space relies on settling the Moon and using it as a base to probe the deepest questions in the cosmos

Joseph Silk

Einstein’s twin paradox | Aeon
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video

Physics

An interstellar voyage explores the ‘paradox’ of twins separated by light years

6 minutes

Dark horses in the cosmos | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

Dark horses in the cosmos

Could primordial black holes from the beginning of time explain ‘dark matter’, the mysterious missing mass in the Universe?

Briley Lewis

5,000 exoplanets | Aeon
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video

Astronomy

From zero to 5,000 – music and visuals express 30 years of exoplanet discoveries

1 minute

Decolonising the cosmos | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

Decolonising the cosmos

Instead of treating Mars and the Moon as sites of conquest and settlement, we need a radical new ethics of space exploration

Ramin Skibba

The search for alien tech | Aeon
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essay

Cosmology

The search for alien tech

There’s a new plan to find extraterrestrial civilisations by the way they live. But if we can see them, can they see us?

Corey S Powell

The sounds of space | Aeon
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video

Physics

How would a piano sound on Mars? Embark on an interplanetary sonic journey

20 minutes

Riches in space | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

Riches in space

Asteroids could pay for so much space exploration. We just need to mine those valuable resources – and duck a direct hit

Martin Elvis

Contact | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Contact

An alien-made artefact or just interstellar debris? What ʻOumuamua says about how science works when data is scarce

Matthew Bothwell

Thanks for all the fish | Aeon
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essay

Animals and humans

Thanks for all the fish

The search for dolphin intelligence and the quest for alien life have moved in historical lockstep. What does the future hold?

Thomas Moynihan

2020: a space odyssey | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

Spacewalks above, pandemic below – how one ISS crew member experienced 2020

15 minutes

A lunar pandemic | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

A lunar pandemic

In the 1960s, NASA went to huge expense to contain possible pathogens from the Moon. What can we learn from the attempt?

Dagomar Degroot

Do we send the goo? | Aeon
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essay

Space exploration

Do we send the goo?

The ability to stir new life into being, all across the Universe, compels us to ask why life matters in the first place

Betül Kaçar

Carl Sagan’s message to aliens | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

How do you message an alien? Carl Sagan offers some simple suggestions

8 minutes

Oppy: the life of a rover | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

What the Martian surface looked like to Oppy – humanity’s most resilient rover

2 minutes

Mercury in transit | Aeon
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video

Astronomy

Watch the rare, awesome spectacle as Mercury passes between the Earth and Sun

1 minute

How to optimise your headspace on a mission to Mars | Aeon
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idea

Space exploration

How to optimise your headspace on a mission to Mars

Ramin Skibba

The whole-planet view | Aeon
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essay

Consciousness and altered states

The whole-planet view

Psychedelics offer a sense of expansive connectedness, just like astronauts have felt looking back to Earth from space

Rosalind Watts, Sam Gandy & Alex Evans

The comet | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

How the Rosetta space probe brings a distant comet into vivid focus

3 minutes

Monsters in the dark | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Monsters in the dark

The Universe’s biggest galaxies could hold the key to the birth of the cosmos. Why are these behemoths so hard to find?

Matthew Bothwell

Black rain | Aeon
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video

Astronomy

Celebrating the rough, the raw and the human in hardcore space science

3 minutes

Mars habitat | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

How 3D-printing robots will get Mars home-ready for our arrival

5 minutes