Chris Burt

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Hubble sees ancient galaxy that acts as enormous magnifying glass

It was a dumbfounding discovery. Using Hubble telescope data, a scientist spotted a "lensing" galaxy that was enormous, extremely distant and acting as a magnifying glass to another ancient galaxy behind it.<p>Kim-Vy Tran was sure she'd flubbed.<p>The Texas A&M scientific researcher was working late, …

Universe

Mars or bust: the new space race to put humans on the red planet

Two years ago tomorrow, a nuclear-powered rover, the size of an SUV and weighing almost a tonne, was lowered onto the surface of Mars. Touching down ever so gently, Nasa’s Curiosity landed with an almighty roar.<p>It sent a message to the world that a new space race – a race to eventually set foot on …

Life beyond Earth seems 'inevitable', US planetary scientist says

Astronomers are standing on a "great threshold" of space exploration that could see evidence of extra-terrestrial life being discovered in the next 20 years, an expert has claimed. Life beyond the Earth seems inevitable given the immensity of the universe, says US planetary scientist Dr Sara Seager.<p>…

‘Hobbit’ skull points to Down syndrome, not new species

New analysis of a 15,000-year-old skull and thigh bone shows the original descriptions of the remains may have been skewed. Instead of the …

For two weeks last August, all hell broke loose on Jupiter’s moon Io

The energy emitted by these volcanic eruptions implies lava fountains gushing at a huge volume per second, forming lava flows that quickly spread …

Robotic Exoskeleton Turns Korean Workers Into Ironman

This suit helps out with the heavy lifting<p>The South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is trying out something new: equipping workers with robotic exoskeletons. Workers are only testing prototypes for now, but future shipbuilders might strap on exoskeletons as easily as they …

Robotics

Better ‘scale’ reveals Milky Way’s true mass

The Milky Way may not be so massive after all. A more accurate way to measure galaxies shows it’s only about half the mass of its neighbor in space, …

Curiosity Rover on Mars Nears Rocks at Base of Giant Mountain (Photos)

Two years after touching down on Mars, NASA’s Curiosity rover is about to get its first up-close look at the rocks that make up its ultimate …

Two Years Ago, Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars, Captures Image …

Two Years Ago, Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars, Captures Image of Mount Sharp<p>This image was captured by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shortly after it landed on the Red Planet on the evening of Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT), near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. The image shows the rover's main science target, Mount Sharp. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is …

Could We Build a Disk Bigger Than a Star?

In our cosmic megastructures series, PM explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Alderson disk, an astoundingly enormous sun-encircling object.<p><b>Megastructure name:</b> Alderson disk<p><b>Named after:</b> The late Jet …