Jen Christiansen, Scientific American

Jen Christiansen

Scientific American

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Past articles by Jen:

Are the James Webb Space Telescope’s Pictures ‘Real’?

As light travels through space, it gets stretched by the expansion of the universe. This is why many of the most distant objects shine in infrared light, which is longer in wavelength than visible light. We can't see this ancient light with our eyes, but the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was designed to capture it, revealing some of the first galaxies ever to form. Credit: Jen Christiansen… → Read More

How the Ocean Sustains Complex Life

Detailed data about a host of physical and chemical forces are shaping a new view of the sea → Read More

Wildfires Followed by Severe Rain Will Become More Common

Graphics show how the two weather extremes will more often pair up → Read More

Our Bodies Replace Billions of Cells Every Day

The human body replaces its own cells regularly. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, have finally pinned down the speed and extent of this “turnover.” About a third of our body mass is fluid outside of our cells, such as plasma, plus solids, such as the calcium scaffolding of bones. The remaining two thirds is made up of roughly 30 trillion human cells. About 72… → Read More

The Language of Science

How the words we use have evolved over the past 175 years → Read More

Scientific American ’s Colorful Covers Reveal 175 Years of Change

The magazine’s hues provide a record of publishing technology and trends → Read More

Visualizing Science: Illustration and Beyond

Where does the illustrator end and the infographer begin? How does data visualization fit in? And what does science have to say about the design decisions we make? → Read More

Only 150 of Your Facebook Contacts Are Real Friends

Even with social media, we max out at 150 real relationships → Read More

The Evolution of a Scientific American Graphic: Pregnancy in Progress

When we return to a topic where the research has advanced, our visual explanations need to be updated accordingly → Read More

Revisiting a Climate Data Viz Icon

This humble 59-year-old chart reveals that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to climb upward → Read More

Interactive Brain Art

A new media installation at Columbia University renders the brain larger than life → Read More

Sleeping Beauties of Science

Scientific American graphic about slumbering research papers wakes up for an award → Read More

Visualizing Uncertain Weather

Storm prediction is tricky business. So is illustrating it → Read More

Visualizing Uncertain Weather

Storm prediction is tricky business. So is illustrating it. → Read More

Atmospheric Rivers, Illustrated

Graphics from the Scientific American archive show how these storm systems impact California → Read More

Vera Rubin's Numbers

Evidence for dark matter is visible in this elegant set of simple charts, rooted in data published decades ago → Read More

Solar Superstorms, Illustrated

An executive order calling for more preparedness and better forecasting for space weather is creating a buzz about electromagnetic storms. What are they? → Read More

Visualizing Polls

A playful, explorable explanation demonstrates the impact of chance on poll results → Read More

Landing on Mars: How and When

A graphic from the Scientific American archive provides context for this month’s Mars landing attempt → Read More

Autophagy, Illustrated

A graphic from the Scientific American archive shows how cells clean house—the basics behind this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine → Read More