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60-Second Space

Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of astronomy and space exploration. For a full-length, weekly podcast you can subscribe to Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American . To view all of our archived podcasts please go to www.scientificamerican.com/podcast

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New Moon Rises over Pluto

A Hubble telescope search for dust rings around Pluto turned up a previously unknown moon. John Matson reports

1min

26 Jul 2011

Rank #1

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WiggleZ Project Confirms Dark Energy's Effects

A survey of 150,000 galaxies confirms predictions about dark energy, thought to be what's driving galaxies apart. John Matson reports

1min

23 May 2011

Rank #2

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Milky Way Should Have Much More Companionship

Our understanding of dark matter says the Milky Way should have many times more than its dozen or so small satellite galaxies. John Matson reports

1min

9 May 2011

Rank #3

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Fragments of Single Meteorite Show Different Chemistry

The Tagish Lake meteorite fragments contain widely varying organic compounds, a sign that chemical reactions were taking place on board the body in space. John Matson reports

1min

13 Jun 2011

Rank #4

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Step Right Up and Guess the Star's Age

A database of stars with known ages and spin rates could let astronomers gauge more stars' ages and find the ones old enough to support planets that could have complex life. John Matson reports

1min

6 Jun 2011

Rank #5

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What's Flinging Comets Out of the Oort Cloud?

A planet-size object could be behind the odd departure of some comets from the Oort Cloud--and toward us. John Matson reports

1min

31 May 2011

Rank #6

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Space Boat Could See Sea Near Saturn

Among projects under consideration by NASA is one that would send a boat to the hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan to check out its composition and chemistry. John Matson reports.

1min

16 May 2011

Rank #7

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Point Up and Click

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now accepting entries. John Matson reports

1min

24 Jan 2012

Rank #8

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Chilly, Chilly, Little Star

A brown dwarf only about three to 10 times Jupiter's mass couldn't get fusion going and now sits freezing in space, in the nearby galactic neighborhood. Clara Moskowitz reports

1min

30 Apr 2014

Rank #9

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Kepler Finds Multiple Exoplanets around Single Stars

The Kepler spacecraft has found 26 previously unknown exoplanets orbiting 11 stars. John Matson reports

1min

30 Jan 2012

Rank #10

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Faraway Planets May Be Far Better for Life

Astronomers have come up with a shopping list of what a planet needs to support life, perhaps even better than our Earth does, making them "superhabitable." Michael Moyer reports

1min

31 Jan 2014

Rank #11

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Help ID Moon Craters from Your Couch

Citizen scientists have helped professional astronomers locate more than 500 million lunar craters by using an app called MoonMappers. Karen Hopkin reports

1min

22 Apr 2014

Rank #12

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Rings: They're Not Just for Planets Anymore

The asteroidlike object Chariklo orbits between Saturn and Uranus and has been found to have its own set of rings. Clara Moskowitz reports

1min

27 Mar 2014

Rank #13

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Flame Dances on Board Space Station

The Flame Extinguishment Experiment, or FLEX, on board the ISS allows researchers to study zero-gravity fire--and ways to fight it. John Matson reports

1min

6 Feb 2012

Rank #14

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Weird Supernovae Spin Faster Than Blender Blades

Two recently found supernovae are much farther away and brighter than almost any star explosion ever seen, perhaps because they wound up as rapidly spinning magnetars. Clara Moskowitz reports

1min

31 Dec 2013

Rank #15

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Asteroid-Hunting Satellite Returns from Dead

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite that went into hibernation in 2011 has been brought to life as an asteroid lookout. Clara Moskowitz reports

1min

23 Dec 2013

Rank #16

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Absence (of Weight) Makes the Heart Grow Rounder

After prolonged periods in microgravity, astronauts' hearts became more spherical, according to scans done on the International Space Station. Sophie Bushwick reports

1min

8 Apr 2014

Rank #17

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Gamma-Ray Burst Fingered for Carbon 14 Spike in A.D. 774

Tree-ring data from A.D. 774 show a sudden spike in radioactive carbon 14, pointing to a burst of charged particles or high-energy radiation that struck Earth. A relatively nearby gamma-ray burst could be the culprit. John Matson reports

1min

21 Jan 2013

Rank #18

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Astronomers Cluster at Massive Meeting Conjunction

More than 3,000 astronomers assembled last week for the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Clara Moskowitz reports

1min

15 Jan 2014

Rank #19

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Black Hole May Eat Asteroids

The black hole at the center of Milky Way could be steadily feeding on a cloud of asteroids, producing frequent, small x-ray flares. John Matson reports

1min

14 Feb 2012

Rank #20