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 >>

Scientist Say Tardigrades Will Be the Last Animals on Earth

Microscopic tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are the toughest animals on the planet, capable of withstanding intense radiation, extreme temperatures, and even the vacuum of space. In a fascinating new study, researchers have shown that tardigrades are poised to survive literally anything that nature throws at them—and that of the animals alive today, they’ll be the last ones standing before the Sun annihilates the Earth billions of years from now. Read More >>

Ancient Cosmic Explosions Might Have Impacted Evolution

Millions of years ago, a pair of exploding stars showered our planet with radioactive fallout. Had those supernovae popped off a bit closer to home, Earth’s biosphere would have been toast. But even at a distance of 300 light years, the stellar events might have had an impact on the evolution of life here. Read More >>

An Ancient Supernova Is Still Impacting Our Planet

A few million years ago, humans’ ancestors might have gazed in wonder at a strange, brilliant blue spot in the night sky. It was the aftermath of an epic stellar explosion, maybe two. Had these supernovae occurred a little closer to home, life on Earth would have been toast. Read More >>

A Cosmic Explosion Left Radioactive Fallout at the Bottom of the Ocean

Several millions years ago, a series of nearby supernovae explosions lit up the sky, rained radioactive particles down on our planet, and might have kickstarted a major climatic shift. That’s according to a pair of studies published today in Nature, which link radioactive debris spread across the seafloor to cosmic fireworks hundreds of light years away. Read More >>

First Ever Supernova ‘Shock Breakout’ Captured in Visible Light

When a star dies and erupts as a supernova it can produce a short, sharp shockwave that astronomers call a “shock breakout.” For the first time ever, astronomers have captured such an event as optical light. Read More >>

Kepler May Be the Most Productive Broken Telescope Ever

The Kepler spacecraft came roaring back into the news last week, when scientists announced that the plucky little planet hunter had unearthed hundreds of new exoplanets in our cosmic backyard, despite being literally broken. But that’s not all Kepler’s been up to—by a long shot. Read More >>

Three Stars Were Exiled From Their Galaxies to Explode in a Cosmic Void

It’s easy to imagine the universe as an endless sea of stars, but that’s a biased, Earthly perspective. If we could zoom very far out, we’d see bright cosmic clusters like our Milky Way, and between them, unimaginably vast stretches of empty intergalactic space. Read More >>