It would be silly to think we completely understand our universe, given how small the Earth is compared to the vastness of the cosmos. But from here on our tiny planet, it appears that much of the universe is missing. And I’m not just talking about dark matter. Regular stuff seems to be missing, too.
We’ve seen supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies tearing stars to shreds. We’ve detected the energy wave from relatively tiny black holes slamming together to create a wobble in space-time a billion light-years away. But what about the medium-sized black holes in between these extremes?
Your smartphone has a particle detector on it, and scientists want you to help them uncover how the universe really works and maybe even discover the true nature of dark matter. There are just a few bugs to work out.
You might have a pretty rigid understanding of the way stuff should look, at the most basic level. It should have a nucleus that is orbited by electrons. The nucleus should have protons and neutrons, inside each of which reside three quarks.
There are lots of incredible things you can do with data. Like make this incredible animation of the Martian surface, for example.
Black holes are already some of the strangest objects in the universe, and scientists sometimes dream up some pretty wild theories about their behavior. Like maybe they can accumulate dark matter particles and turn into black hole lasers, beaming radiation out into space.
When a star meets the gravity of a black hole, chaos ensues.
The center of our galaxy is an extreme place that holds all sorts of mysteries. Among those enigmas are what appear to be gas clouds that somehow refuse to be pulled apart by the immense gravity of the galactic center.
A meteor lit up the sky over Botswana, Africa, early Saturday evening. Scientists discovered the six-foot-wide asteroid just hours before it reached Earth.
Astronomers peering closely at images of Pluto have spotted what look like dunes on the surface of the former planet. They wouldn’t be sand dunes, but dunes of methane ice—an Earthly feature on a totally alien world.
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…
Thanks to a quirk of astrophysics, astronomers were able to observe features just tens of kilometers 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.
China’s mission to explore the Moon’s far side is set to launch in part on Monday (Sunday in the US). As the Guardian reports:
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 solar system 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…
If all you know about Stephen Hawking is that he was on The Simpsons and other TV shows, then a new graphic novel coming next year will be the perfect way to improve what you know about one of history’s greatest theoretical physicists.
On November 8, 2017, a spinning neutron star inside one of the most studied objects in the sky “glitched” more than it had ever glitched before.
Sometimes, scientists have the answers all along—they just don’t think to ask the question. For example, it appears that in 1997, the Galileo orbiter flew through a jet of water shooting out from Jupiter’s moon Europa without even trying.
It’s been more than six months since the Cassini probe plummeted to its demise, but scientists are still releasing incredible images from two-decade mission to Saturn.
A rock that formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter seems to have somehow traveled to the orbit of Neptune, according to a new observation.