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/article/iapetus-youth-black-white
David F. Coppedge - On the outskirts of the Saturn entourage flies one of the strangest objects in the solar system. Nothing else is quite like it: a large moon that is jet black on one side, and snowy white on the other. It was named Iapetus in 1671 by...

/article/messenger-from-mercury
David F. Coppedge - After a 33-year hiatus, we have a message from Mercury. On January 14, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) sent the first close-up images of the innermost planet since Mariner 10...

/article/christians-space
David F. Coppedge - Many alive today have witnessed the entire history of space flight. Anyone who looked up to see Sputnik cross the sky on October 4, 1957, remembers the panic that set in across the country. The thought of communists beating us to space was...

/article/face-mars-teachable-moment
David F. Coppedge - In 1976, Viking snapped a photo from Martian orbit that looked like a human face staring up from the plains of Cydonia. It launched a worldwide enterprise of imagination. For countless hours on late-night radio, enthusiasts offered speculations...

/article/nebulous-hypotheses
David F. Coppedge - "Glittering generalities"--a phrase describing grand, panoramic scenarios that sweep difficulties under the rug--appropriately describes theories of planetary evolution. They're not as simple as "add dust, stir, and wait." I...

/article/inflating-evidence
David F. Coppedge - In their quest to disprove design in the universe, scientists have produced evermore speculative models of cosmology. Big Bang cosmology, for example, relies heavily on a process called inflation, an ad hoc speculation that remains highly...

/article/more-than-rising-star
David F. Coppedge - On his widely popular Cosmos science program in 1980, Carl Sagan described our paltry existence in pathetic terms: "We live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star, lost in a galaxy, tucked away in some forgotten corner of universe in...

/article/spewing-hot-rocks-old-ideas
David F. Coppedge - The most volcanically active body in the solar system is a little moon of Jupiter named Io. This moon is pumping out the hottest lavas known, from equator to pole, 24/7. That a small body could be this hyperactive is one of the major mysteries for...

/article/imponderable-substances
David F. Coppedge - Science and pseudoscience: how clear is the distinction? We need to look at history to understand the present. Scientists typically admire magician James Randi, who makes a living out of debunking pseudoscientific claims. He has been very clever at...

/article/venus-vs-uniformitarianism
David F. Coppedge - Imagine a world with no oceans where it rains lead. So stifling hot that human visitation is inconceivable, the planet Venus is curiously similar to Earth, yet profoundly different. Venus has a sultry atmosphere, supersonic winds, a mountain higher...

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