Andrew Fitzgerald

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Astronomers capture supermassive black hole as it eats passing star

<b>(CNN) —</b> A star, caught in the grips of a supermassive black hole.<p>The immense gravity slowly strips the stellar material from its parent, forming a disc of gas around the black hole as it converts gravitational energy into electromagnetic radiation, producing a bright source of light visible on …

Universe

'New Era' of Astrophysics: Why Gravitational Waves Are So Important

There was big news in astrophysics this week: An experiment detected ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves, created by two black holes …

Is There Really A 9th Planet?

Is there really a 9th planet?<p>The idea of a 9th large planet possibly existing on the outskirts of our solar system made quite the splash in the media when it was re-suggested earlier this year, but I have to emphasize that it hasn’t been directly detected – <i>yet</i>, in any case.<p>In late January, …

Astronomy

The mysterious boundary

A black hole’s event horizon is a one-way bridge to nowhere, a gateway to a netherworld cut off from the rest of the cosmos.<p>Understanding what …

‘First ever alien voice recording transmitted to NASA’s Mars Rover’

<b>A spaceship finally entered interstellar space for the first time in 2012.</b><p>But what you may not have known is that the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched …

NASA’s New Space Telescope Will Study Dark Energy and Earth-Sized Planets

"WFIRST has the potential to open our eyes to the wonders of the universe, much the same way Hubble has.”<p>It's finally official: NASA's next major telescope project will be the innovative Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). The space telescope is projected to launch to the gravitational …

The quantum computing era is coming… fast

‘The world is not only queerer than we suppose,” said JBS Haldane. “It is queerer than we <i>can</i> suppose.” Haldane was a biologist and something of a polymath (Peter Medawar, himself a Nobel laureate, described him as “the cleverest man I ever knew”), and whenever I read anything about quantum …

Quantum Computing

Scientists claimed they found elusive ‘Planet X.’ Doubting astronomers are in an uproar.

It’s a big, dark presence at the farthest reaches of our solar system, a mysterious force powerful enough to skew the paths of planets in orbit and yet so subtle that it slips undetected past even the most powerful telescopes on Earth. For centuries, it has eluded some of the most brilliant minds …

‘We have no idea what it is’: Weird space signal could be from aliens

Astronomers heard two mysterious radio signals from outside our galaxy – unexplained blasts of radio energy which last a few milliseconds.<p>Scientists …

Paranormal

Bizarre physics doubted by Einstein just led to the first-ever prediction of a supernova

Astronomers have pinpointed exactly when and where we can see the cataclysmic explosion of a giant star, called a supernova, from start to finish.<p>Their first-ever prophecy of a supernova is based on something photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2014: four stars blowing up at once.<p>In …

A giant asteroid flying past Earth on Halloween is the least of our nightmares

Although 310,000 miles away may not sound close, the giant space rock is zooming by only a little farther away than the moon is from the Earth — close enough to spot with an amateur telescope, says NASA. It's also important to remember the 1,300-foot-wide asteroid, called 2015 TB145, is moving …

This Physicist Says Dark Matter May Have Killed Off The Dinosaurs

We can't see it or feel it. But as Lisa Randall says, dark matter may explain a lot about our universe--including the dinos' demise.<p>As every astronomy buff knows, dark matter is pretty elusive stuff.<p>We can't see it. We can't hear it or feel it, and we certainly can't smell or taste it. Even with …

Deleting genes could boost lifespan by 60 per cent, say scientists

The secret of extending life by decades may lie in switching off certain genes, scientists believe, after showing that small genetic tweaks can make organisms live 60 per cent longer.<p>Ten years of research by the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the University of Washington has identified …

Immune System

Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physics genius, but the mystery he finds most intriguing is women

Hawking has been outspoken about the dangers of AI, which he has warned "could spell the end of the human race."<p>He himself uses a primitive form of AI to produce his characteristic robotic speech, since he suffers from a motor-neuron disease similar to ALS.<p>Here are a few of the best questions and …

Google and NASA Have A New Quantum Computer

Meet the D-Wave 2X<p>It looks like the holiday season came early for Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.<p>Google, NASA, and the Universities Space Research Association announced today that they’re getting the D-Wave 2X, the newest and most powerful quantum computer on the market. The 2X …

A rare supermoon total lunar eclipse will rise Sunday

Get ready. A very special, very rare moon is rising this weekend.<p>On Sunday, the full moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit …

Supermoon

The best (and worst) ways to spot a liar

Forget body language or eye movements. There are much better ways to identify the deceitful.<p><i>This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.</i><p>-<p>Thomas Ormerod’s team of security officers faced a seemingly impossible task. At airports across …

Body Language

Our Solar System May Have Had A Fifth 'Giant' Planet

The missing planet bumped into Neptune before disappearing into the abyss of space, according to a new study.<p>The four gas giant planets in our solar system -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune -- may have a long-lost relative. According to a new study, our system was once home to a fifth gas …

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2015: Underrated Players to Target in Early Drafts

The key to a successful fantasy football draft isn't the early rounds. Every contending team is going to need terrific production from its star players in order to make a run toward the title. Drafts are won in the latter stages by walking away with a few steals.<p>Hitting on a couple of sleepers is …

Fantasy Football

​One Small Optical Chip, One Giant Leap for Quantum Computing

“We carried out a year's worth of experiments in a matter of hours.”<p>Today marked the unveiling of a reprogrammable optical chip that is capable of processing photons in an infinite variety of ways. This development marks a massive step toward the realization of a quantum computer capable of wildly …

Perseid meteor shower expected to be stellar

<b>(CNN) —</b> A moonless evening gave stargazers a fantastic light show this week.<p>The annual Perseid meteor shower, which is known for being among the brightest of meteor showers, happened near the tail end of summer.<p>The major meteor shower was visible in the Northern Hemisphere.<p>"If you see one meteor …

Astronomy

Great Books For Non-Physicists Who Want To Understand Quantum Physics

A few times last week at the Schrödinger Sessions workshop, I made reference to books that I think do a good job with particular aspects of quantum physics (in addition to the one that I wrote, that is…). At the end of the workshop, some of the writers asked if I had a list of those. A couple of …

Quantum Mechanics

Parallel Worlds Could Explain Wacky Quantum Physics

The idea that an infinite number of parallel worlds could exist alongside our own is hard to wrap the mind around, but a version of this so-called …

Night Sky, May 2018: What You Can See This Month [Maps]

The night sky tonight and on any clear night offers an ever-changing display of fascinating objects you can see, from stars and constellations to …

New Horizons Goes to Pluto: A Mission Timeline

Popular Science Blogs<p>Boxplot<p>Exploring the world of science through graphic narrative. By Maki Naro<p>Imagine taking a road trip to visit an old friend, driving for nine years, and finding out that, along the way, they had a couple more kids and turned into a potato<p>Imagine taking a road trip to visit …

Scientists think they’ve found the reason you’re overeating

Do you ever realize that you’re full, but finish that burger and fries anyway? There may be a scientific reason for that: too little of a hormone called GLP-1, which is thought to play a role in obesity (paywall).<p>Researchers from Rutgers University have found that when GLP-1 is released in the …

A Simple Way To Retrieve Info You Lost In A Black Hole

Just an easy quantum procedure<p>Black holes are full of conundrums. Like, what would happen if you threw a book inside one of these gravity wells? The theory of general relativity (the physics laws that govern really big things in the universe) predicts that the book would disappear forever. But …