Aria Tauraso

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A massive hole just opened up in Antarctica's ice and scientists can't explain it

Thanks to its usefulness as an indicator of how badly humans are messing up the Earth with global warming, scientists like to keep a pretty close eye on the ice in Antarctica. Now, a massive hole the size of Lake Superior has appeared many miles inland from where the ice meets the ocean, and …

Ransomware’s Aftershocks Feared as U.S. Warns of Complexity

The components of the global cyberattack that seized hundreds of thousands of computer systems last week may be more complex than originally believed, a Trump administration official said Sunday, and experts warned that the effects of the malicious software could linger for some time.<p>As a new …

Cybersecurity

North Korea says missile could carry large nuclear warhead

<b>(CNN) —</b> North Korea says the missile it tested Sunday is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead, state media said Monday.<p>The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, supervised the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile that reached an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles) and flew 787 kilometers (489 …

An Asteroid May Kill Us All. Congress Is Pinching Pennies.

When the asteroid named 2014 J025 passed by the Earth in April, it came within 1.1 million miles of the planet -- a close shave by cosmic standards and also the nearest in more than a decade. And J025 was big. At nearly a mile across, it could have killed tens of millions if it had hit a heavily …

Asteroids

Now That We Can Read Genomes, Can We Write Them?

A group of scientists is pushing ahead with plans to build whole genomes—including human ones—from scratch.<p>NEW YORK CITY—Since the Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed in 2003, scientists have sequenced the full genomes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of species. Octopuses. Barley. Mosquitoes. …

Genetics

Earth’s Rock History Shows Flat Planet Covered In Ocean Before Life Formed

What did Earth look like billions of years ago? Well, it was flat and almost entirely submerged. Not the kind of flat that immediately comes to mind …

Scotland Might Be Underwater If Not For This Strange Five-Fingered Mantle Plume

Iceland and Scotland have an unusual connection, one many miles beneath the surface of the Earth. A recent study suggests that a five-fingered mantle plume emanating out of Iceland could be responsible for Scotland and part of Norway sitting above sea level.<p><i>Nae man can tether time or tide.</i> - Robert …

There Is Sound In Space, Thanks To Gravitational Waves

It’s long been said that there’s no sound in space, and that’s true, to a point. Conventional sound requires a medium to travel through, and is created when particles compress-and-rarify, making anything from a loud “bang” for a single pulse to a consistent tone for repeating patterns. In space, …

Black Holes

Almost every speed limit is too low

When lieutenant Gary Megge of the Michigan State Police attends a meeting, he sometimes asks, “How many of you broke the speed limit on your way here?”<p>Hearing his question, you might assume that lieutenant Megge is a particularly zealous police officer. The type of person who walks half a city …

USDOT

The Future Of The Sun: Massive Black Holes Dwarf The Entire Solar System

<i>This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Matthew Clifford.</i><p>This is a comparison of the Sun’s diameter versus the diameter of Earth.<p>The …

No, Dark Energy Isn't An Illusion

In 1998, two teams of scientists announced a shocking discovery: the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. Distant galaxies weren’t just receding from us, but their recession speed was increasing over time. Over the next few years, precision measurements of three independent quantities — …

Dark Matter

Scientists Think Dark Energy Might Be Just an Illusion

Dark Energy: Captivating and Confusing<p>Dark energy and matter, two hot-button subjects of physics that have captivated and stumped enthusiasts and …

New Simulations Suggest Dark Energy Might Not Exist

68 percent of the Universe might not exist.<p>Ever since the late 1990s, physicists have been fairly certain that the Universe isn't only getting …

Simulation suggests 68 percent of the universe may not actually exist

According to the Lambda Cold Dark Matter (Lambda-CDM) model, which is the current accepted standard for how the universe began and evolved, the …

Dark Matter

How Big Was The Universe At The Moment Of Its Creation?

You might think of the Universe as infinite, and quite honestly, it might truly be infinite, but we don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. Thanks to the Big Bang — the fact that the Universe had a birthday, or that we can only go back a finite amount of time — and the fact that the speed of light is …

Dark Matter

Does Dark Matter Exist, Or Is Gravity Wrong? The Answer Lies Billions Of Years In The Past

When we look out at the luminous matter in the Universe — stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the hot gas in and between them — it tells a couple of different stories. One is the story of how normal matter (based on atomic nuclei and electrons) comes together to emit, absorb and otherwise …

Dark Matter

Could We Protect Mars-Bound Astronauts With A Magnetic Bubble?

Could a synthetic magnetic bubble, like a mini-magnetosphere, protect a crewed mission to Mars from cosmic radiation, and would the energy cost be prohibitively high?<p>As much as some folks are keen on sending people to Mars as soon as possible, it’s become obvious that protecting any astronauts from …

Protons

Why String Theory Could Be The Key to Uncovering The 'Theory of Everything'

Life, the Universe, and everything.<p>A central goal that modern physicists share is finding a single theory that can explain the entire Universe and …

Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole Ate Its Last Big Meal 6 Million Years Ago

Most galaxies in the observable universe contain a supermassive black hole at their center, one that is either active and surrounded by an accretion …

Coldest Place In The Universe? NASA Wants To Create It On ISS With Future SpaceX Cargo Mission

In the relative vacuum of outer space, it is very, very cold but even the coldest known place in the universe is not the coldest it can theoretically …

Astronomers Have Spotted a Black Hole So Ravenous, It's Pushing The Limits of Physics

The Universe's hungriest black hole.<p>Astronomers have discovered a giant black hole that's so hungry, it's been gorging on a star for more than a …

150-Year Journey to Alpha Centauri Proposed

Interstellar travel, a timeworn staple of science fiction, can already be science fact if one has cash to spare. For just $100 million or so, a …

Ask Ethan: What Is Spacetime?

When it comes to understanding the Universe, there are a few things everyone’s heard of: Schrödinger’s cat, the Twin Paradox and E = mc^2. But despite being around for over 100 years now, General Relativity — Einstein’s greatest achievement — is largely mysterious to everyone from the general …

Physics

Why The Multiverse May Not Be Madness

Alternate realities, parallel dimensions, and multiple universes. Whatever you call it, the notion of other versions of existence is one of the most …

Nobody Knows Where A Black Hole's Information Goes

According to Google, Stephen Hawking is the most famous physicist alive, and his most famous work is the black hole information paradox. If you know one thing about physics, therefore, that’s what you should know. Before Hawking, black holes weren’t paradoxical. Yes, if you throw a book into a …

Black Holes

An asteroid just flew by Earth about 50% the distance to the moon, and we barely saw it coming

Early Monday morning, while people on the East Coast were making coffee, dropping kids off at school, and cursing in traffic, a space rock as big as a 10-story building slipped past Earth.<p>The asteroid, dubbed 2017 AG13, was discovered on Saturday by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey, …

Asteroids

Astronomers have found the source of a deep space radio wave burst for the first time

We finally know the galactic culprit<p>After a decade of bewilderment, astronomers have pinpointed the source of a mysterious blast of radio waves coming from deep outside the Milky Way: a dwarf galaxy located 3 billion light years from Earth. It’s a remarkable first in the study of what has been a …

Earth Scientists Are Freaking Out. NASA Urges Calm.

At a time when NASA earth scientists are concerned their research may be scuttled by the incoming Trump administration, the space agency's top …

Otherworldly Images of Andromeda Galaxy Over a Tiny Swiss Village

Photographer Sandro Casutt lives in a remote Swiss village with unbelievable views of the Andromeda Galaxy. The village of Vals, population 990, is a prime location for viewing the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way. Thus, Casutt, together with his brother Markus, started Cosmic Art Photography …

Andromeda Galaxy

Distant black hole may disprove Einstein's theory of relativity

More than 26,000 light years away, deep within the heart of our galaxy, lies Sagittarius A* - four millions Suns' worth of unseen mass concentrated …