Astronomy, space and physics

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

Two Conjectures Collide, Endangering the Naked Singularity

Physicists have wondered for decades whether infinitely dense points known as singularities can ever exist outside black holes, which would expose …

Physics

Your Connected Devices Are Screwing Up Astronomy

By now, “Here Are Some Stupid Things on the Internet of Things” has become a full-on article genre. There’s even a Tumblr dedicated to the idea: “We …

Internet of Things

Physicists find new particle with a double dose of charm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found an extra charming new subatomic particle that they hope will help further explain a key force that binds matter together.<p>Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe announced Thursday the fleeting discovery of a long theorized but never-before-seen type …

Large Hadron Collider

The Universe Itself May Be Unnatural

When it comes to the physical Universe, we fully expect things obeying the same fundamental laws to unfold in similar fashions, and to be comparable to one another today. By the same token, if they obey vastly different rules, we expect them to be different from one another today. If aspects of the …

Space Science

Miniscule Measurements Over 12 Years Confirm The Existence Of Orbiting Black Holes

In a ground-breaking study over ten years in the making, scientists have observed two supermassive black holes orbiting each other hundreds of millions of light years from Earth.<p>“For a long time, we’ve been looking into space to try and find a pair of these supermassive black holes orbiting as a …

Astrophysics

The Quasar Main Sequence - Sky & Telescope

<b>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

<b>A new measurement could be the farthest back in time astronomers have ever reached when measuring a black hole’s spin.</b><p>The quasar Q2237+0305 is split …

Astronomers Happen Upon The Most Distant Lensing Galaxy Ever Discovered

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted an elliptical galaxy 9.6-billion light years from Earth that is so colossal, its gravity …

Great Discoveries Channel

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. Because that gap is a …

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.<p>Phil Plait writes</b> …

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

In his Allegory of the Cave, the Greek philosopher Plato described prisoners who have spent their entire lives chained to the wall of a dark cavern. …

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

Dark matter makes up 90% of the matter in both systems, the study finds.<p>Our Milky Way galaxy is less massive than astronomers previously thought, …

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.<p>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 …

Artificial spacetime experiment could show tantalizing effects of gravitational waves

(Phys.org) —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

According to observations made by the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, the Universe is <i>missing</i> 80 percent of all its …

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.<p>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, …

Planets

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 60

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 …

Cosmic Concept: Seeing Stellar Weather in Other Galaxies

Webster Cash's Aragoscope would allow astronomers glimpses of faraway stars and galaxies in unprecedented resolution.<p><b>Webster Cash created the Starshade project</b>, 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 …

Universe

How Wheel Damage Affects Mars Rover Curiosity's Mission

If there were mechanics on Mars, NASA may have taken the Curiosity rover into the shop by now.<p>The 1-ton robot has accumulated quite a bit of wheel …

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now

View photos<p>More<p>Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six …

NASA's 17 Apollo Moon Missions in Pictures

1 of 18<p>The Apollo Program<p>The Apollo program placed humans on the moon for the first time. The effort famously began with President John F. Kennedy's …