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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

Is the universe a sponge?

J Richard Gott’s book on the large-scale topology of the universe goes beyond a “Cosmology 101” pseudo-history, writes Martin Bucher

Finding the right boundaries

Roger Penrose’s book on “fashion, faith and fantasy” in physics asks excellent questions, but reviewer Chanda Prescod-Weinstein finds some of the answers wanting

The descent of mass

Jon Cartwright talks to the physicists who are hoping to find a flaw in the equivalence principle

From weapons to white dwarfs

Edwin Cartlidge examines “academic access” programmes at military research centres

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

Thinking big thoughts

Vlatko Vedral is wowed by cosmologist Sean Carroll’s paean to "poetic naturalism" and the ability of science to bring meaning to the world

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

Riffing on the universe

Jazz musician and theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander brings a fresh perspective to links between science and music, writes Trevor Cox