60-Second Space

Scientific American

Podcast Overview

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

Podcast Episodes

Bacteria Got an Early Fix on Nitrogen

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

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

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

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

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

Look Up to See Latest Comet Lovejoy

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

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

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

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

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

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