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No, this isn't the Eye of Sauron: it's an amazing image of the ringed star HR 4796A, captured by the new Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) instrument at the Very Large Telescope atop Cerro Paranal in Chile. The newly installed SPHERE filters out light to acquire exceptionally sharp images

How an Organizational Breakdown at NASA Let the Challenger Lift Off

The "massive malfunction" that killed seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 also forever changed NASA, an agency that seemed infallible. What breakdown in the decision-making process led to the shuttle lifting off? The organizational structure of NASA itself played a bigger role than you might…