Freelance science writer @TheAtlantic @newscientist @PopSci @aeonmag @FiveThirtyEight etc. Chronicler of night & its inhabitants. Tweets are Hamilton lyrics.✨

After Rough Descent, Europe's Mars Lander Is Probably Dead — Mars has apparently claimed another robotic explorer. Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander is most likely dead on arrival, after something went wrong during its parachute flight and its hover-rockets didn't ignite for long enough. European Space Agency engineers are still trying to piece together exactly what went wrong at some point during the lander's descent yesterday.

We Don't Know If The ExoMars Lander Made It — Mars might have claimed another robot. After a nailbiting descent, we still don't know whether Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander is safe on the Red Planet. The Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter should be able to tell us, but it will be another hour or so before they can pass overhead and beam data back to Earth.

What Will The ExoMars Lander Do? — Today on Mars, a 13-year-old American robot will look up from its crater to photograph the arrival of a new European companion. It's a solar system first: No robot on the the surface of another planet has ever been there to greet a new space traveler.

The Most Capable Robot Geologist Ever Built Now Heads to Mars to Find Life — Planetary scientists sometimes joke that we know more about Mars than we do about the moon. NASA first landed a spacecraft on the surface of the fourth planet during the U.S. Bicentennial, five years before the first space shuttle ever lifted off.

Mars Rovers Batten Down for Rough Season — Like painted kites, those days and nights went flyin' by The world was new, beneath a blue umbrella sky Then softer than a piper man, one day it called to you And I lost you, I lost you to the summer wind...

Toddler stars' baby fat kicks out almost all their exoplanets | New Scientist — Single-exoplanet systems may be the fault of their stars. Exoplanets are abundant in the galaxy, but the systems they belong to seem to come in two distinct configurations. Some stars have multiple planets orbiting in the same plane, much like the solar system. But some appear to have only one world crossing their face.

Proxima b's hyperactive star is more sun-like than thought | New Scientist — In August, we learned that the nearest star to our solar system is likely to have a rocky, Earth-sized planet orbiting it - and now the star, too, turns out to be more like the sun than we thought. Proxima Centauri has been found to experience a seven-year activity cycle, similar to the sun's 11-year cycle.

How to iron out gravity's creases in our map of the universe | New Scientist — HOW do you iron out the folds in a universe? Our most precise map of the big bang's afterglow - the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - is flawed, distorted by the gravity of giant galaxies warping the fabric of space-time.

The moon has hundreds more craters than we thought | New Scientist — Brace for impact. A new count of the moon's craters has turned up 33 per cent more than predicted. Bombardment by small meteors is continually churning up the surface of the moon, and the dust-up could pose hazards to future lunar settlements. Small meteors regularly impact the moon and Earth.

Weird binary system spotted with three rings around two stars | New Scientist — Astronomers have never seen anything like it: two stars, each swaddled in planet-forming discs - and then a third, larger disc around the entire lot. Named IRS 43, the system is 400 light years away from Earth. The cosmos is chock-full of stars surrounded by planets and planet-forming discs.
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Oct 23, 2016

Watching #Westworld makes me wonder how very different Lost would have been if it had aired on HBO.

Oct 23, 2016

RT @Jayson_Greene: I wrote about the death of my daughter, the birth of my son, and everything I felt in between for the @nytimes .

Oct 23, 2016

RT @DrPhiltill: Image evidence of #ExoMars impact, but also a big win: super-accurate atmospheric entry to the landing ellipse:

Oct 23, 2016

I sincerely hope David Pumpkins was trending at some point tonight

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