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Editor's choice

Jan 19, 2014

A special free-to-read digital edition containing 10 of our very best feature articles on the science and applications of light

In depth: Astronomy, astrophysics & cosmology

An interstellar culture clash

Jennifer Ouellette ponders the scientific and political messages of Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem

Between the lines

Sun-centred poetry, an insider's view of dark matter research and a tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope, reviewed by Margaret Harris and Tushna Commissariat

Subterranean science

Sean Paling and Stephen Sadler describe how deep underground labs are diversifying into areas such as astrobiology and earth sciences

Between the lines

Mathematical doodles, the "new space" era and a pocket guide to astronomy, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Between the lines

Tasneem Zehra Husain's imaginative physics-history novel Only the Longest Threads and Peter Adey's ramble through Air: Nature and Culture, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Dialling up the cosmos

Edwin Cartlidge reports on the new apps that allow smartphone users to detect cosmic rays

To infinity, beyond and back again

Space-travel film Interstellar awes our reviewer Tushna Commissariat with an epic plot and breath-taking effects, but what about the science?

Between the lines: Christmas special

A collection of physics-themed books on topics ranging from aliens to zombies, reviewed by Margaret Harris

A lucky, but lonely, planet

Is life on other planets common? Or are we alone in the universe? Duncan Forgan evaluates a book that argues that Earth is the exception, not the rule

Between the lines

A collection of essays about "surprising science" and a primer on quantum entanglement, cryptography and nonlocality, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Rendezvous with a comet

Matt Taylor braces himself as Europe's Rosetta craft gets set to land a probe on a comet for the first time next month

Hunting gravitational waves using pulsars

Louise Mayor reports on the search for these ripples in space–time

A space cowboy's tale

James Dacey reviews an imaginative film about astronaut Eugene Cernan, the "last man on the Moon"

Gardening in space

Robert P Crease on the success story of a courgette in space

Towards a more plausible dragon

"Fermi problems" make up the heart of Charles Adler's book about the science of science fiction and fantasy, says reviewer Costas Efthimiou