NASA’s Breakthrough Discovery: Could There Be Life on Other Planets?

Other Planets

Move over—It's getting crowded in this galaxy!On Wednesday, February 26, NASA confirmed reports that it had discovered 715 new planets outside our solar system.The newly discovered planetary bodies are what are called “exoplanets”--that is, planets which, although within our galaxy, do not revolve around our sun. All the new planets are in systems like our solar system, in which multiple planets circle a star. All are closer in size to Earth than to the much larger Jupiter. Four of the n … [Read more...]

TIME Magazine Expert: “You Should Be ‘A Little Bit Worried’ About That Falling Satellite”


Here we go again. In September 2011, NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which was launched in 1993 to study climate conditions, was falling to earth.  It was expected to be, by NASA’s own admission, “the largest uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere” in more than 30 years.In the excitement, I penned a Prayer for Just in Case a Satellite Lands on Your Head.  It was a pretty smooth prayer, I thought, helping to put one in the proper mindset for cataclysmic destr … [Read more...]

For Mothers Everywhere: On Scrubbing Toilets and the Challenger Disaster

Twenty-six years ago, on January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, disintegrating over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of central Florida.  All seven of its crew were killed, including the “Teacher in Space,” Christa McAuliffe.On this sad anniversary, it’s not space flight I want to talk about, though.  I want to talk about jealousy, and about the seasons of life.When the Challenger exploded, I had three young children at home.  To supplement our … [Read more...]