space
Telescope Aimed at Black Hole Gives Taste of Incredible Results to Come

You might remember that about a year ago, astrophysicists turned the whole Earth into a telescope to try and get a picture of a black hole. That image isn’t available yet, but the folks behind this “Event Horizon Telescope” just released data from previous observing periods, and it’s making us even antsier for the final results. Read More >>

space
The Supposedly Physics-Defying NASA Thruster Doesn’t Work, New Research Confirms

If you want to send something deep, deep into space, it’s impractical to load it up with lots of heavy propellant. Scientists with their eyes on long-distance space travel have contemplated thrusters that wouldn’t need any propellant at all. The EmDrive, a copper cone that would supposedly push forward on the vacuum of space without any propellant, is one such idea — unfortunately, it’s probably another dead end. Read More >>

space
Scientists Observe ‘Black Widow’ Pulsar in Mind-Boggling Resolution

Thanks to a quirk of astrophysics, astronomers were able to observe features just tens of kilometres apart near a spinning neutron star located 6,500 light-years away from Earth. This is like using a telescope in your backyard to see DNA strands on the moon. Read More >>

space
Wild New Theory Suggests Pluto Formed From a Billion Comets

Pluto may not be a planet, but it remains one of the most intriguing objects in the outer Solar System. Its unexpected chemical composition has confounded scientists for years, but a new theory may finally hold the answer. Pluto, according to a pair of Southwest Research Institute scientists, is basically an overgrown comet. Read More >>

space
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Is Able to Drill Holes Into Rocks Again

That’s one small hole for a probe, but one giant leap for NASA. This past weekend, the space agency jerry-rigged Curiosity’s malfunctioning drill, allowing the rover to bore into Martian rock for the first time in over a year. Read More >>

space
NASA’s New Exoplanet Hunter Releases Incredible First Image

On the way to its final orbit around Earth, NASA’s planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has sailed by the moon and snapped its first picture of space. We’ve said several times that TESS would be able to look at 200,000 stars in the 300 light-years around the Earth—but maybe this new shot will show you what that really means. Read More >>

space
Why Is This Asteroid Orbiting the Wrong Way Around the Sun?

Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is orbiting the wrong way around the Sun. Why? According to a hyped new paper from astronomers Fathi Namouni and Helen Morais, this asteroid with its contrary orbit may not be native to our Solar System at all—it may have been captured from interstellar space. Read More >>

space
How NASA Will Unlock the Secrets of Quantum Mechanics Aboard the ISS

An Antares rocket launched from Virginia before sunrise this morning and is on its way to the International Space Station. Its 7,400 pounds of cargo include an experiment that will chill atoms to just about absolute zero—colder than the vacuum of space itself. Read More >>

china
China’s First Private Space Rocket Launch Ever Was This Week

OneSpace Technology conducted the first private rocket launch in Chinese history this week, firing off the 30-foot OS-X from a platform in northwest China on Thursday, according to CNN. Read More >>

space
China to Launch Mission to Moon’s Far Side on Monday

China’s mission to explore the Moon’s far side is set to launch in part on Monday. As the Guardian reports: Read More >>

space
Curiosity Rover’s Busted Jackhammer Could Soon Get a Fix

In late 2016, the drill used by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity began to malfunction due to an apparent mechanical failure. This Saturday, NASA will test a new method that could restore the drill’s critical jackhammering capability, and by consequence, the rover’s ability to analyse Martian rock samples. Read More >>

space
Asteroid Discovery Boosts Evidence for Planet Nine

I’m sorry, but Pluto sucks and I’m glad it’s not a planet anymore. It’s smaller than our Moon, and it’s about the same size as several other distant, rocky objects. Have you ever seen the way it orbits alongside its partner, Charon? Classifying it as a planet in the first place was a mistake. Can we get a better ninth planet, please? Read More >>

space
The Hungriest Black Hole Ever Detected Gobbles a Sun-Sized Star Every Two Days

Supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies can get absurdly huge, sometimes reaching masses billions of times greater than our Sun. The rate at which black holes grow can vary, but Australian astronomers have detected one such object with an unusually intense appetite, making it the fastest-growing black hole ever detected in the observable universe. Read More >>

space
Hints of the First Stars Seen in 13-Billion-Year-Old Oxygen

Scientists have spotted 13-billion-year-old oxygen in a distant galaxy—a signal of stars forming during the universe’s earliest days. Read More >>

space
Famous Neutron Star Just Glitched in a Huge Way

On 8 November 2017, a spinning neutron star inside one of the most studied objects in the sky “glitched” more than it had ever glitched before. Read More >>