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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

The green flash

Pete Lawrence describes his quest since childhood to see this elusive phenomenon

A quest for ultimate reality

An enlightening and deeply personal tour of some of the edgiest, most puzzling elements of modern cosmology, reviewed by Melanie Windridge

Between the lines

A subtle and fiendish collection of physics problems and a geophysical journey that revels in unusual connections, reviewed by Margaret Harris

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