Qiu Ying Xia

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A New Binary Star Asteroid Belt Teaches Us About How Planets Form

Although our Sun is the only star in our solar system, that isn’t the case for every planetary system. It’s estimated that about than half of stars could be binaries, though the exact percentage is still hotly debated. What we do know is that binary stars are common. This has raised the question …

Astronomy

Is The Multiverse A Scientific Theory?

Anyone can come up with a theory, which in common parlance, simply means “an idea for how something works.” But in order to be a <i>scientific</i> theory, you have to do a lot more. In particular, any new scientific theory has to look at the current framework of science, including the current leading/best …

Earth Is Surrounded by Strings of Dark Matter

The solar system is hairy? Thanks to dark matter, this might actually be the case.<p>This week a study will publish in the <i>Astrophysical Journal</i> by Gary …

Dark Matter

10 or so things you should know about Albert Einstein and his theories of relativity

It's been 100 years since Albert Einstein completed his theories of relativity. They were radical. They reshaped the way physicists view space, time, …

What is a Wormhole?

A wormhole is a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. Wormholes are predicted by …

How fast could humans travel safely through space?

The current speed record has stood for 46 years. When will it be beaten, asks Adam Hadhazy.<p>We humans are obsessed with speed. Recent months, for instance, brought news that students in Germany have broken the record for the fastest accelerating electric car, and that the US Air Force plans to …

Don't Panic, But Our Universe Is Dying

Don't get too attached to the universe. It won't be around much longer.<p>The universe will long outlast Earth. However, in the cosmic sense, it is slowly dying -- something scientists have believed to be the case since the 1990s, but recently confirmed in a new study.<p>A team of international …

Scientists studying starlight can tell you: Our universe is going dark

We know that our universe has already lived through great number of exciting phases. But new research released overnight shows the universe has long passed its peak and is slowly but surely dying.<p>The research was presented at the year’s largest gathering of astronomers at the International …

Study Skills

A Sarcastic Mars Rover Shows Us Why Space Robots Are Important

Three years ago today, a very sarcastic rover landed on Mars.<p>Three years ago, a real rover — Curiosity, part of the Mars Science Laboratory — landed on Mars, while @SarcasticRover landed on Twitter. The Twitter account, run by Jason Filiatrault, has gathered 134,000 followers and posted more than …

The story of the most important Cold War spy most people have never heard of

One of the most significant US intelligence operations in modern history took place in the heart of Soviet Moscow, during one of the most dangerous stretches of the Cold War.<p>From 1979 to 1985, a span that includes President Ronald Reagan's "evil empire" speech, the 1983 US-Soviet war scare, the …

A Periodic Table Surprise: The One Element In Stars That Isn't On Earth

When it comes to the elements in the periodic table found throughout the Universe, it’s only the first two that originated from the Big Bang: hydrogen and helium. Everything else was formed from stars, whether:<p>fused in their cores, from lighter elements into heavier ones,<br>• built in supernovae, where …

Neutrons

12 Of The Saddest Science Facts Of All Time

(Although this story may have a happier ending – some scientists now believe they've picked up similar signals, meaning the whale might not be alone after all.)

Space

'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

The British designed EM Drive actually works and would dramatically speed up space travel, scientists have confirmed<p>Interplanetary travel could be a step closer after scientists confirmed that an electromagnetic propulsion drive, which is fast enough to get to the Moon in four hours, actually works.<p>…

Living on Other Planets: What Would It Be Like?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on the moon? What about Mars, or Venus or Mercury? We sure have and that's why we decided to …

Astronomers Glimpse Very First Stars in the Universe

Bright galaxy is home to huge, superhot early stars that lived fast and died young.<p>Peering to the edge of the visible cosmos with some of the most powerful telescopes on the planet, astronomers have detected light from the very first generation of stars to emerge after the big bang.<p>These behemoths …

Elon Musk doesn’t want to get into genetic engineering because he doesn’t know how to avoid 'the Hitler problem'

As the story goes, when billionaire innovator Elon Musk was deciding what he wanted to do with his life, he asked himself the question: "What will most affect the future of humanity?"<p>He came up with five answers: space exploration (and colonization), sustainable energy, the internet, artificial …

Elon Musk

5 ways the world's most controversial telescope could revolutionize astronomy

That is, if it's actually built.<p>Native Hawaiian protestors halted the construction earlier this year. Many consider the mountain sacred ground and there are concerns that the construction could have terrible consequences for the delicate mountaintop ecosystem.<p>Legally, TMT has the green light to …

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity

In 1905, Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum …

Hubble at 25: the best images from the space telescope - in pictures

As the Hubble space telescope gets ready to celebrate 25 years since its launch, we look back at some of the iconic images it has produced

Hubble Space Telescope

Best Space Books and Sci-Fi: Best Summer Reads

There are plenty of great books out there about space — so many, in fact, that it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out where to start, …

Star Wars planets like Tatooine could be common in universe

Previously scientists believed that only gas-giants could circle binary star systems but a new study suggests that many Earth-like planets could have two Suns<p>The image of Luke Skywalker staring at the double sunset of Tatooine captured the imagination of millions of cinemagoers.<p>But astrophysicists …

Fact or Fiction?: Dark Matter Killed the Dinosaurs

Every once in a great while, something almost unspeakable happens to Earth. Some terrible force reaches out and tears the tree of life limb from …

Mars has the right nitrogen for life, NASA reports

By Rachel Feltman<p>Rachel Feltman<p>Bio<p>The Mars Curiosity Rover has found evidence of nitrates, compounds vital to supporting life as we know it. Scientists already knew that Mars had nitrogen gas in its atmosphere, but in order to be used in the chemical processes that keep living things alive it must …

Nitrates

Study: Jupiter's journey destroyed 'super-Earths,' laid groundwork for Earth

<b>(CNN) —</b> It turns out that Jupiter may be more than just an enormous ball of gas spinning a few hundred million miles farther out in the solar system.<p>We earthlings might have the giant planet to thank for our very existence.<p>Two scientists are suggesting that the inner solar system once played host …

Solar System

Jupiter May Have Destroyed Early Planets And Paved The Way For Earth

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has, to date, enabled astronomers to discover over 1,000 planets outside of our solar system. But there’s a funny thing about the solar systems astronomers discovered – they don’t look much like ours at all. Most of them have larger, “super-Earths” – planets smaller than …

Astronomy

The big bang: are we in a ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ type situation?

Scientists at Cern are suggesting they could soon detect miniature black holes, proving the existence of parallel universes and disproving the big bang theory of the creation of the universe. Or something