Scientific American

60-Second Space

Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of astronomy and space exploration
60-Second Space


Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of astronomy and space exploration. For a full-length, weekly podcast you can subscribe to Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American . To view all of our archived podcasts please go to



Bacteria Got an Early Fix on Nitrogen

Feb 24, 2015 00:02:13


New evidence points to the evolution of the ability for bacteria to grab nitrogen from the atmosphere some 3.2 billion years ago, about 1.2 billion years earlier than thought—with implications for finding extraterrestrial life. Lee Billings reports

Stars Reveal Hidden Galaxy

Feb 18, 2015 00:01:22


A dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way may consist of more dark matter than regular matter.* Clara Moskowitz reports

Space Science Budget Gets Small Lift

Feb 11, 2015 00:01:42


NASA has to deal with the unexpected financial consequences of robotic missions that just keep going. Lee Billings reports

5 Rocky Planets Found in Ancient, Distant Solar System

Feb 3, 2015 00:01:40


The oldest group of terrestrial worlds now known formed some 11.2 billion years ago, more than six billion years before our sun and planets. Clara Moskowitz reports  

Long-Lost Lander Found on Mars

Jan 27, 2015 00:01:37


New images from a NASA orbiter reveal Beagle 2’s final resting place. Lee Billings reports

Look Up to See Latest Comet Lovejoy

Jan 16, 2015 00:01:25


Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy’s latest comet find is naked-eye visible in the southeast sky until January 24. Clara Moskowitz reports      

SpaceX Will Try Launch, Then Soft-Land Returning Booster

Jan 1, 2015 00:01:31


The company hopes to send up a Falcon 9 rocket and then safely land the discarded first stage for reuse. Lee Billings reports

Humans on Mars Soonish Says NASA Bigwig

Dec 11, 2014 00:01:37


John Grunsfeld, the former astronaut who now heads NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, thinks that traveling light could get people to Mars by the 2040s  

UV Light Colors Great Red Spot

Dec 2, 2014 00:01:37


Jupiter's Great Red Spot is its particular crimson shade because of the interaction of ultraviolet light and specific chemical compounds in the gas giant's atmosphere. Lee Billings reports      

It’s Hard to Dust in Space

Nov 21, 2014 00:01:37


Over the summer researchers identified seven specks of dust returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft. But determining their true origin has been difficult. Clara Moskowitz reports

Comet Reeks of Cat Crap and Rotten Eggs

Nov 4, 2014 00:01:20


The Rosetta spacecraft has unexpectedly detected hydrogen sulphide and ammonia coming from Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Lee Billings reports       

Track Cosmic Rays with Smartphone App

Oct 17, 2014 00:01:26


Take part in a citizen-science project by helping researchers track high-energy cosmic rays via a network of smartphone users. Clara Moskowitz reports      

Star-Forming Clouds May Spit Out Life’s Building Blocks

Oct 10, 2014 00:01:36


Astronomers have discovered one of the largest and most complex organic molecules yet in a gaseous star-forming region of interstellar space. Clara Moskowitz reports

Dark Matter Looks WIMPy

Sep 25, 2014 00:01:34


Data from the International Space Station-based Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment supports the idea that dark matter consists of the invisible particles called weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. Clara Moskowitz reports  

Forensic Astronomer Dates Monet Vision

Sep 12, 2014 00:01:29


Texas State University astronomer Donald Olson combined solar, tidal and weather data to identify the likely moment of the image in the Monet work Impression, Sunrise