Our First Grainy Glimpse Of Pluto And Charon As New Horizons Closes In

NASA's New Horizons has returned its first images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, since the mission entered into the countdown phase of its historic mission. Taken at a distance of 126 million miles (200 million km), it will pale in comparison to the images expected over the coming months. » 2/05/15 6:30am 2/05/15 6:30am

You Have Better Taste Than You Realize

The old "tongue map" from our elementary school textbooks has been roundly debunked. Experimental confirmation of "umami" expanded Westerners' traditional four basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, and bitter—into five. But did you know those 5 basic tastes might actually be 6 . . . or 7, 8, or more? » 9/17/14 6:10pm 9/17/14 6:10pm

Images of Charon Orbiting Pluto Guide A Spacecraft To Its Destination

An animation of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was created using a series of images captured by the New Horizons spacecraft as it continues its long journey to the distant planetoid. Taken from a distance of 422-429 million km, the images are not for scientific study, but for optical navigation between worlds. » 8/07/14 2:40pm 8/07/14 2:40pm

Of Penises and Planets: On Labels in Science and Culture

Just what counts as a penis? A debate over what to call the genitals of an unusual group of cave insects has broader implications, because it gets right at the heart of science and science communication: what's the relationship between the labels we use in science and the way those labels are understood by our culture? » 4/19/14 6:50pm 4/19/14 6:50pm