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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

Adventures in search of auroras

This fascinating account of the Northern Lights taught reviewer (and space plasma physicist) Colin Forsyth a thing or two about aurora science

A billion pixels, a billion stars

Gerry Gilmore and Floor van Leeuwen explain how the precise data from the Gaia mission will revolutionize our view of the galaxy

Another giant leap

The story of a group of women who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early days of rocketry draws both praise and criticism from Lisa Ruth Rand

Web life: Universe Awareness

The Universe Awareness project aims to bring the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos into the classroom for children aged four to 10

See like a solar system

Robert P Crease discusses what the science of the solar system teaches us about perception

Pathway to Planet Nine

Konstantin Batygin explains what led him and astronomer Mike Brown to propose the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system

Brave new Jupiter

With NASA’s Juno spacecraft arriving at Jupiter this July, Stephen Ornes reports on what scientists have in store for this distant probe

A space–time operetta

Janna Levin’s Black Hole Blues describes the search for gravitational waves in a fun and human fashion, but Mark Hannam thinks the topic deserves more

Between the lines

A scientific biopic of Srinivasa Ramanujan, atomic sabotage in wartime Norway, and a journey to the centre of the Sun, reviewed by Tushna Commissariat and Margaret Harris

Between the lines

An eloquent defence of string theory and a mathematical analysis of luck and chance, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Web life: The Physics Mill

Can’t get enough gravitational waves? Check out Jonah Miller’s blog about numerical relativity for an in-depth look at their theoretical side

How black holes saved relativity

Marcia Bartusiak’s "exquisitely clear explanations" earn the plaudits of reviewer Chanda Prescod-Weinstein in this black-hole history

Visualizing the cosmos

A book of space-related infographics is "a marvel and a delight", according to reviewer Margaret Harris

Loops and arcs in the radio sky

Michael Peel, Matias Vidal, Clive Dickinson and Paddy Leahy explain the latest map from the Planck Collaboration

The Soviet side of space

A major exhibition at the Science Museum in London brings together an impressive collection of Soviet technologies from the birth of the space age