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Phil Plait is an astronomer and major sci-fi geek. He writes the Bad Astronomy Blog for Discovery Magazine and is also the host of the Discovery Channel's science show "Phil Plait's Bad Universe." You can follow him on Twitter at @BadAstronomer. Spoilers ahoy! If you haven't seen Prometheus yet, then you might want to skip this scientific review of the movie, otherwise you'll feel as if vultures are eating your liver.
Will Smith is not afraid of science. If he was, he probably wouldn't have the career he does. Nor would he have agreed to speak to 300 high school kids at New York City's Hayden Planetarium about science and science fiction. And he definitely wouldn't be able to give a pretty decent explanation of how time-travel paradoxes work.
California resident Lyn Hiner recently spent a typical morning picking up rocks at the beach with her daughters. The not-so-typical part? A few hours later, the rocks burst into flame and lit her shorts on fire. WTF?
When we think of dinosaur deaths, we're usually picturing a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth, or a raptor ripping a herbivorous species to shreds. But some dinosaurs had much more mundane causes of death, and at least one of them bit the dust courtesy of arthritis.
We all love our Star Trek transporter toys, but we all know what we really want to do is step into the full-size model and shout "energize!" just before our bodies become light and then re-make themselves in another place. Sadly, it's still out of reach, but scientists in China say they've just moved us one step closer.
One of my favorite clichés in movies—and by "favorite" I mean "makes me want to fly to the screenwriter's house and stab them in the eye with a red editing pen"—is when a character comes up with a ridiculously top-heavy and overly-complex scheme, and another character says, "That's so crazy it just might work!"
Our atmosphere is assaulted by cosmic debris on a somewhat regular basis, but for an extraterrestial chunk to get this close to the...
Planetary Resources just wrapped up a press conference in Seattle, officially announcing both its existence and its ambitious plan to mine near-Earth asteroids. We were listening in live, and here's everything you need to know about how this asteroid mining plan is going to work and when it's going to happen.
Manned missions into the cosmos were always going to be a dicey affair, given the multitudes of things we don't know (and the fact that NASA's funding is a fraction of what it should be). But if there are actually hyper-intelligent dinosaurs waiting for us, maybe we should just stay home.