Galactic rays

Galactic rays

Scientists have tracked a light beam that’s half-a-million light years long to a monster black hole and found that the hole and its disk of orbiting junk are spinning in parallel. Their new, supersize radio telescope promises more details on black holes at the center of most galaxies, including ours. More »

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Researchers are finding more links to obesity, cancer, and sleep disturbances. Light blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body clock. Wildlife scientists are finding effects on competition, predation and reproduction. Could light pollution from streets, cars and buildings drive animal evolution? More »

Dunewatching, Martian style

Dunewatching, Martian style

New pix from Mars show sand dunes on the move. Mars has been dry for 1.5 billion years; could massive erosion be due to wind? Yes, says a new report that tracked dunes with precise new images. Surprise: dunes move as fast on Mars as on Earth! More »

Chasing neutrinos at the South Pole

Chasing neutrinos at the South Pole

Neutrinos are odd: Extremely difficult to see, they travel through mass with scarcely a trace. A 1-billion ton detector in South Pole ice is now counting neutrinos, intent on understanding their origin and role in the universe, and even spotting echoes of the Big Bang. More »

Running out of space

Tommy and his spacedog point up to Spaceship One

With space shuttles in museums, the near-term American plan to return to space relies on other countries or private firms. What are the options? More »

Ancient hole, black hole

Ancient hole, black hole

A new report on the ancient universe shows that most galaxies – even all of them – had a black hole at the center, much like modern galaxies. We can understand why a black hole would need to be surrounded by millions of stars, but why should galaxies require black holes? More »

The importance of being Einstein

Black and white photo: closeup of Einstein's face with blackboard in background

Experiment finds Earth “dragging” spacetime, as Einstein predicted. Einstein knew his physics. Bending light, gravity lenses, shifting spacetime, spinning neutron stars: he called them all. More »

Pop goes the super supernova

Pop goes the super supernova
Titanic explosion shows one of the biggest bangs since the Biggest Bang, spreads useful elements through the universe. Finally revealed: anti-matter is working for you! More »

Brit astronomers reveal sizzling cosmic tryst!

Brit astronomers reveal sizzling cosmic tryst!

A planet newly found in the southern sky is perilously close to its star, orbiting in less than 1 Earth day. Within 10 years, this planet may force a new understanding of star-guts. More »

Year of astronomy: More reasons to love stars!

Year of astronomy: More reasons to love stars!

400 years ago, Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter. We discover water from 11 billion years ago, volcanoes at Titan, a moon of Saturn, and good reasons to shun light pollution. More »

What we did on our summer vacation: Visit Mars!

It’s a boom time for studying Mars, and the perfect time for the be-all, end-all summer vacation. Ride a robot rover. Dune-buggy an unearthly dune field. Even meet-and-greet a real live Martian! All aboard for Mars! More »

Super View of Supernova

After 20 years, star explosion reveals more secrets. What gives in these giant bangs?