Astronomy, space and physics

By Mark Draper | Look up, be inspired...

The Quasar Main Sequence

A new diagram suggests two physical properties — how efficiently the black hole feeds and the system's orientation — lie behind quasars' …


Distant Black Hole’s Spin Clocked - Sky & Telescope

A new measurement could be the farthest back in time astronomers have ever reached when measuring a black hole’s spin.

The quasar Q2237+0305 is split …


Astronomers Happen Upon The Most Distant Lensing Galaxy Ever Discovered

Cool Stuff

Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech

July 11, 2015

It’s Antarctic winter on Pluto. The sun has not been visible for twenty years in this frigid south polar region; it will not shine again …

In 2012, the Earth Dodged a Solar Bullet

In July 2012 the Earth dodged a bullet. Or more accurately, the bullet was misaimed. But had it hit, we’d have been in big trouble.

Phil Plait writes

Earth Science

Fermi Finds 'Transformer' Pulsar

For the first time, scientists have watched a pulsar transition from a low-energy system to a high one.

The Black Hole That Birthed the Big Bang

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In his Allegory of the Cave, the …


Milky Way is about half as massive as Andromeda galaxy, say astronomers

An image of the Andromeda galaxy, Messier 31. Image credit: Adam Evans

Our Milky Way galaxy is less massive than astronomers previously thought, …

Milky Way Galaxy

Collider Reveals First Glimpse of Higgs Boson at Work

An extremely rare collision of massive subatomic particles could reveal the nuts and bolts of how the subatomic particles called Higgs bosons impart mass to other particles.

The Higgs boson particle, which was detected for the first time in 2012, is essentially tossed around like a ball between two …

The 5 Massive New Telescopes That Will Change Astronomy Forever

The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy is upon us. In Chile and Hawaii and in space, astronomers are getting powerful telescopes that …


More Eyes on the Skies

The future, it is often said, belongs to those who plan for it. And astronomers have been busy working the proverbial smoke-filled rooms (or whatever passes for them today) where the destiny of big science is often shaped and crisscrossing one another in airports on fund-raising trips. Now they are …


Stalking the Shadow Universe

For centuries people have found meaning — or thought they did — in what they could see in the sky, the shapes of the constellations echoing old myths, the sudden feathery intrusion of comets, the regular dances of the planets, the chains of galaxies, spanning unfathomable distances of time and …


Artificial spacetime experiment could show tantalizing effects of gravitational waves

( —Although the curves and ripples of spacetime are suspected to be full of intriguing secrets about the history of the universe, they are …

Gravitational Waves

Scientist find that 80 percent of all light in the Universe is missing

Cool Stuff

A New View of Europa

Europa is like a spherical ice cube that has partially melted. In fact, if you shook this small moon of Jupiter, you might hear a sloshing sound.

That’s because a deep, global ocean lies beneath the moon’s frozen, criss-crossed crust – an ocean that might be as much as 100 kilometers deep. In fact, …

Cool Stuff

What is the shape of the universe?

From World Science U, Science Unplugged provides hundreds of short video answers to a wide range of questions from "What is a Higgs Particle?" to …


Astronomers find supermassive black hole blasting molecular gas at 600,000 miles per hour from a galaxy

New research has solved a long-standing mystery surrounding the evolution of galaxies that deepens our understanding of the future of the Milky …


Physicists defend Big Bang wave announcement

Cosmic swirls that were hailed earlier this year as evidence for primordial gravitational waves – ripples in spacetime dating back to the early …

How the faintest galaxies illuminated the early universe

Astronomers investigating behavior of the universe shortly after the Big Bang have made a surprising discovery: The smallest galaxies determine the …


Scientists create 3D model of massive star eruption

Astronomers have developed a 3D model of the Homunculus Nebula, a giant cloud of gas and dust ejected by the binary system Eta Carinae during its 19th century outburst

An international team of astronomers has developed a 3D model of a giant cloud ejected by the massive binary system Eta Carinae …


Cosmic Concept: Seeing Stellar Weather in Other Galaxies

Webster Cash's Aragoscope would allow astronomers glimpses of faraway stars and galaxies in unprecedented resolution.

Webster Cash created the Starshade project, a clever method to discover new worlds, because he was looking for a way to block out the light of a distant star, allowing a telescope to …


How Wheel Damage Affects Mars Rover Curiosity's Mission

Engineers are faced with surprising wheel damage on the Curiosity Mars rover mission.
Credit: NASAJPL-Caltech/MSSS

If there were mechanics on Mars, …

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now

Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according …

Earth Science

NASA's 17 Apollo Moon Missions in Pictures

NASA's Apollo program put the first humans on the moon. See how the missions flew in this photo tour.


Cosmic-Ray Hotspot Discovered, Offering Clues on Deep Space Mystery | Nat Geo Space

A "hotspot" in the sky near the Big Dipper may be a major source of the ultra-high-energy cosmic rays that routinely bombard the Earth, report physicists using a giant array of specialized telescopes in the Utah desert.

Discovered just over a century ago, cosmic rays are really just the cores of …


How Big is Neptune?

The most distant planet from the sun, Neptune is the third most massive. Despite its great size, it was the last planet to be discovered, because it …

Knowledge Management

Image of the Day: New Supernova Explosion --Origin of Stardust in the Universe?

The origin of cosmic dust in galaxies is still a mystery. Cosmic dust consists of silicate and amorphous carbon grains — minerals also abundant on …


Team Hits Snag In Attempt To Rescue Vintage NASA Space Probe

The quest to rescue a 36-year-old NASA spacecraft will go on for at least another day, as a private group controlling the probe achieved only partial success with an engine firing Tuesday (July 8).

The private team operating NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft (ISEE-3) aimed to fire …


Hubble sees spiral bridge of young stars between two ancient galaxies

claims. I posted that 3 hours ago when I went to my daughters to help out... but now I am home, but leaving again in a few minutes. He don't know …