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This Shower of Gamma Rays Is from a Flaring Blazar 5 Billion Years Ago

Five billion years ago, a blazar abruptly flared, triggered an intense rain of gamma rays. Racing across the universe for millennia, they finally slammed into NASA’s Fermi satellite over several days this June, setting a new record for the most luminous high-energy object we’ve ever seen. » 7/12/15 1:40pm 7/12/15 1:40pm

"Light Echoes" Prove That This Neutron Star is Weirdly Like a Black Hole

Between rainbows, rings, and sharp, hard lines, it’s difficult to not clap my hands in glee while unpacking the levels of awesome crammed in this X-ray image of Circinus X-1. The beautiful bullseye light echoes hint this neutron star is farther, brighter, and more like a black hole than we thought. » 6/25/15 10:30pm 6/25/15 10:30pm

What the Hell Is the "Oh-My-God" Particle?

The Fly’s Eye was a crude cosmic ray detector perched on top a Utah mountain in the early 80s and 90s. It’s long obsolete now, but it’ll always have a place in astronomy history: On October, 15 1991, it detected something called the Oh-My-God particle, a cosmic ray going faster than astronomers thought possible. » 5/14/15 8:00pm 5/14/15 8:00pm

Simulation Shows Planets Could Be Forming Within This Dusty Disc

Late last year, astronomers using the ALMA telescope captured an unprecedented image of what appears to be a protoplanetary disc surrounding a young star. Some scientists were skeptical about the claim, but a new simulation run by Canadian astrophysicists is helping bolster its case. » 5/06/15 11:01pm 5/06/15 11:01pm

The Truth Behind Interstellar's "Scientifically Accurate" Black Hole

You've probably heard that the black hole in Interstellar was a simulation of unprecedented scientific accuracy. You may also have heard that its creation led to an "amazing scientific discovery" having to do with the shape of its accretion disk, which loops over and under its dark, central shadow. Neither of these… » 2/17/15 4:42pm 2/17/15 4:42pm

Astrophysicists Find That Cities Grow Just Like Galaxies 

We've all looked out at the night sky and wondered at how much the stars look like strings of cities. But there's more than a passing resemblance—according to a team of astrophysicists who compared the two, there's a much deeper connection at work. We aren't just made of stars, we act like them too. » 1/20/15 9:42am 1/20/15 9:42am

Why We Should Keep Trying to Time Travel

H.G. Wells coined the term "time machine" all the way back in 1895, just a decade before Einstein published his groundbreaking paper on special relativity that would begin show how time travel is possible. The fascination with using technology to look into the past or the future hasn't faded in the last century. And… » 11/20/14 10:03am 11/20/14 10:03am

Yes, Time Travel Is Possible; Here's How

Time travel's been one of man's wildest fantasies for centuries. It's long been a popular trend in movies and fiction, inspiring everything from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to the Charlton Heston shrine that is The Planet of the Apes. And with the opening of Interstellar » 11/05/14 1:25pm 11/05/14 1:25pm

Astronomers Discover First Direct Proof of the Big Bang Expansion

Somebody's going to win a Nobel Prize. At least that's what the physics community is saying after the announcement on Monday that a Harvard team has found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation right after the Big Bang. It's more proof that the Big Bang really was the beginning of it all. » 3/17/14 12:20pm 3/17/14 12:20pm

Scientists Found the Remains of a Water-Covered Earth-Like Planet

A team of astrophysicists have made an exciting however complex discovery a mere 170 light years away. In their own words, it's "the first evidence of a water-rich rocky planetary body" outside of our own solar system to have evidence of water. It's the "rocky" bit that makes it Earth-like. » 10/10/13 4:20pm 10/10/13 4:20pm