Lee Billings, Scientific American

Lee Billings

Scientific American

New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Lee:

SETI Pioneer Frank Drake Leaves a Legacy of Searching for Voices in the Void

Remembering Frank Drake, who led science in listening for an extraterrestrial “whisper we can’t quite hear” → Read More

SETI Pioneer Frank Drake Leaves a Legacy of Searching for Voices in the Void

Remembering Frank Drake, who led science in listening for an extraterrestrial “whisper we can’t quite hear” → Read More

NASA Triumphantly Unveils Full Set of Webb’s First Images

Breathtaking pictures that include the deepest-ever infrared view of ancient galaxies offer a preview of the spectacular science in store for the most powerful space observatory in history → Read More

The Best Fun Science Stories of 2021: Rhythmic Lemurs, a Marscopter and Sex-Obsessed Insect Zombies

Check out the weird and wonderful stories that delighted us this year → Read More

This Report Could Make or Break the Next 30 Years of U.S. Astronomy

A battle for the future of American stargazing is about to begin—and the stakes are sky high → Read More

Black Hole Scientists Win Nobel Prize in Physics

Half the award goes to Roger Penrose; rest split between Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for work revealing ‘darkest secrets of the universe’ → Read More

Space Telescope Director Says Best Is Yet to Come for Hubble

Three decades into the life of the world’s most revered orbital observatory, Ken Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, reflects on its future → Read More

Bizarre Cosmic Dance Offers Fresh Test for General Relativity

Scientists have detected relativistic frame dragging, a prediction of Einstein’s greatest theory, around a distant pair of exotic stars → Read More

Record-Breaking Gamma Rays Reveal Secrets of the Universe’s Most Powerful Explosions

Two teams of astronomers using ground-based telescopes to study gamma-ray bursts have detected the highest-energy light ever seen from celestial sources → Read More

Proposed Interstellar Mission Reaches for the Stars, One Generation at a Time

Starting in the early 2030s, the project could become our first purposeful step out of the solar system—if it launches at all → Read More

Astronomers Find Water on an Exoplanet Twice the Size of Earth

Water vapor in the skies of the world K2-18 b may make it “the best candidate for habitability” presently known beyond our solar system → Read More

Israeli Spacecraft Fails to Make First Private Lunar Landing

Private organization SpaceIL’s Beresheet lander crashes down on the moon following engine and communications problems → Read More

Atheism Is Inconsistent with the Scientific Method, Prize-Winning Physicist Says

In conversation, the 2019 Templeton Prize winner does not pull punches on the limits of science, the value of humility and the irrationality of nonbelief → Read More

'Oumuamua, Our First Interstellar Visitor, May Have Been a Comet After All

New research flags jets of water vapor—rather than alien technology—as the source of the mysterious object’s anomalous motions → Read More

Lunar De-Light! How to View 2019's Sole Total Eclipse of the Moon

On January 20, stargazers across the Americas will have stunning views of a historic celestial event → Read More

Finding Alien Life May Require Giant Telescopes Built in Orbit

Influential astrophysicists, roboticists and astronauts say that orbital construction could spark a renaissance in space science and exploration → Read More

Astronomers Tiptoe Closer to Confirming First Exomoon

Signals seen by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest a Neptune-size moon may orbit a gas-giant planet around a star some 8,000 light-years from Earth → Read More

"Optical Tweezers" and Tools Used for Laser Eye Surgery Snag Physics Nobel

The award’s recipients include the first female physics laureate in 55 years → Read More

Pulsar Discoverer Jocelyn Bell Burnell Wins $3-Million Breakthrough Prize

The award recognizes not only the astrophysicist’s transformative discovery, but also her subsequent work to promote equality and diversity in science → Read More

Looking for a Second Earth in the Shadows

Some dark, clear nights, when the blazing stars cast shadows down on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the astronomer Olivier Guyon steps away from… → Read More