space
Cassini Swan Song Image of Saturn Left Me Speechless

Planets and robots lack hearts and minds, but they’re especially good at impacting ours. In its last days before ending itself, human-built Cassini turned around and snapped this farewell mosaic image of Saturn. Its title: “Farewell to Saturn.” Read More >>

space
Water Isn’t Actually Flowing on Mars, Suggests New Result

Facts are built into the fabric of the Universe, but science can sometimes be a problematic tool for establishing them. On occasion, even the most exciting discoveries can be overturned with more evidence. Read More >>

space
The First Known Interstellar Asteroid Looks Incredibly Weird 

Scientists know of 750,000 or so asteroids and comets—and all of them are part of this fine solar system. That is, all of them but one. And as new research shows, it’s weird as hell. Read More >>

science
Mysterious New Results Can’t Explain Why So Much Antimatter Hits Earth

New observations of nearby pulsars—lighthouse-like neutron stars beaming energy—seem to have deepened a mystery that’s been bugging scientists for around a decade. The Earth is being hit with too much antimatter from outer space, and no one is sure why. Read More >>

space
Black Holes Slamming Together Officially ‘Routine’

Well, this is it. We’ve finally gotten to the point where observing two black holes slamming together, possibly the most way-out physics-based idea one could wrap their head around, has become “routine.” How did we get here? Read More >>

space
A New Type of Gravitational Wave Could Be Spotted Soon, Claims New Paper

It can’t be stressed enough how crazy gravitational waves are. These supremely violent events take place many light years in the distance, and because they literally alter the shape of space and time, the ripples they produce can be detected on Earth. But gravitational wave astronomy is only in its infancy, and there’s even stranger things yet to be observed. Read More >>

space
Remarkable New Supernova Discovery Is Unlike Anything Seen Before

Astronomers have spotted something truly baffling: a new light 500 million light years away that looked exactly like a supernova...but acted like no supernova observed before. Read More >>

space
An Elaborate Planetary System May Exist Around Our Nearest Star

New observations show there’s at least one, but possibly three rings, of cold dust around our nearest star, Proxima Centauri. That could indicate the presence of more planets, according to new research. Read More >>

space
Let’s Break Down What That Monumental Neutron Star Collision Actually Told Us

Astronomy has entered a new era, one where light and gravity both play a role in understanding the Universe’s craziest phenomena. On August 17, 2017, over 70 observatories around (and above) the world, including ones like LIGO and the Hubble Space Telescope, all spotted a flash of energy. This light came in many different flavors, and was consistent with a pair of dense neutron stars colliding in a cataclysmic “kilonova” explosion. Read More >>

science
Observatories Across the World Announce Groundbreaking New Gravitational Wave Discovery

Vicky Kalogera, a Northwestern University physicist, took her week of much-needed vacation in Utah this past August. She promised her family she’d stay off of email for a week. It wasn’t a real promise, of course, but she was going to try. She’d arranged the perfect day for August 17. Her husband was going to take the kids hiking in Arches National Park while she’d spend the whole day at the spa. Right as she left her room, she just had to give her email a peep. The deluge brought the news: Telescopes and detectors across the world were making a monumental observation. Read More >>

science
Astronomers Think They Discovered the Missing Link in Black Hole Evolution

Science fiction doesn’t exist to make movies about the stuff we know about—it explores the unknown physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry where real uncertainty about topics can lead to compelling, believable stories. That’s what makes black holes such a popular subject; light can’t escape them, maybe they’re portals across space and time, and they seem to break the rules. But who needs fiction when there are already incredibly strange mysteries in the real world? Read More >>

space
Mind-Bogglingly Detailed Image of a Nearby Star Introduces an Unexpected Mystery

There are few downsides to new observations, but confusion might be one of them. New stellar images bring mysteries that will take more time and effort to understand. That’s offset by how freaking detailed scientists can start producing these pictures, and of course, scientists like hearing that there’s more work to do. Read More >>

science
Einstein’s Theory Passes a Massive Test

The most basic physical laws you’ve learned—those drafted up by Isaac Newton in the 17th century—don’t work for everything. Once you try to applying them to really fast things moving nearly at the speed of light or things heavier than stars, they start to fall apart. That’s where Albert Einstein’s expanded theory of motion and gravity, the theory of general relativity, comes in. Read More >>

space
Half of Our Galaxy Might Have Come From Other Galaxies

Any Carl Sagan fan knows you’re made of star stuff. Protons don’t decay into any other particles (as far as we can tell), so you can reliably assume that most bits of you have been around since a second after the Big Bang. But if you’re thinking a little more locally, you might wonder whether the Milky Way formed in its entirety before little ol’ you were made. Read More >>

space
Scientists Think They’ve Figured Out Where Bizarre Runaway Stars Are Coming From

The Sun and Proxima Centauri and most of the stars you’ve heard of orbit the centre of the Milky Way galaxy like children peacefully riding a carousel (with some weirdness caused by dark matter that we don’t need to get into). Now, imagine if a few toddlers were sprinting and shrieking across the peaceful scene. Who sent these nightmares? In the case of stars, scientists think they could have come from another galaxy. Read More >>