You might think of black holes as enormous vacuum cleaners, sucking in all the matter and light that ventures too close. But confusingly, scientists normally see stuff leaving the area around a black hole, via jets of matter and light from ripped-apart dust. It’s rare to see matter get devoured.
Somehow during the history of Earth, life took to the skies. As these winged creatures evolved, they specialized and improved their flying abilities. Today, we have specimens like the incredible hawk moth, a hummingbird-like insect that can precisely control its hovering.
When humans take the drug MDMA, versions of which are known as molly or ecstasy, they commonly feel very happy, extraverted, and particularly interested in physical touch. A group of scientists recently wondered whether this drug might have a similar effect on other species—specifically, octopuses, which are seemingly…
Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have glimpsed a neutron star unlike any seen before.
How do you know where anything is in space? Sure, you can say, “Oh, that star, it’s the one in the middle of the Big Dipper,” but that’s not very useful in an era of incredible telescopes peeping at galaxies billions of light-years away. On January 1, 2019, scientists will adopt the newest, internationally…
We usually associate volcanoes with extreme heat. But new results demonstrate that the Solar System’s largest asteroid, Ceres, is covered in volcanoes that have spewed ice throughout their history.
The House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act yesterday. When signed into law, the bill will outline a 10-year plan to push forward applications using the counterintuitive science of subatomic particles.
As the planet-wide Martian dust storm clears, NASA scientists have increased their efforts to contact the nearly 15-year-old Opportunity rover, which has been silent since June 10.
An ambitious use of the Hubble Space Telescope hopes to map some of the biggest, brightest, and furthest galaxies to understand the structure of our universe. Above is a picture from that survey, featuring a strange, warped feature called the Dragon.
A mission to deflect asteroids that might threaten Earth has begun its final design and assembly phase, according to a news release. NASA is testing a technique meant to protect the planet from an impending asteroid strike, and it’s a satisfyingly simple one: They’re gonna slam the ship into the rock.
A tiny hole in a Soyuz spacecraft attached to the International Space Station has turned into a strange game of international telephone.
September 10 marked the 10th anniversary of when the Large Hadron Collider first powered on. Since it’s already achieved its most well-known goal—to discover the Higgs boson—you might wonder what else is happening at the famous collider.
Sitting atop Saturn’s north pole is one of the Solar System’s most striking weather patterns: a rotating, color-changing hexagon slightly wider than Earth. A new study shows there’s another hexagon directly on top of the first one—and that’s weird.
Accomplished astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has won a $3 million Special Breakthrough Prize for her discovery of pulsars 50 years ago and continued leadership in science.
Last year brought a monumental observation of the cosmos: the light and simultaneous gravitational waves from a pair of colliding neutron stars over 130 million light-years from Earth. But mysteries about this event remained—like why the radiation it emitted as x-rays and radio waves gradually brightened for half a…
Jupiter is strange for a number of reasons. It’s the biggest planet in our Solar System, of course. It harbors perhaps the most intense radiation environments. And, according to a new study, it has a magnetic field unlike that of any other known planet.
The food might taste great, but fancy restaurants generally use tricks to prepare meals perfectly with surprisingly little effort. Perhaps the most storied of these devices is the sous vide, a glorified immersion heater that keeps water at a precise temperature in order to evenly cook foods, usually meats in…
This month, Italian physicists will turn on an experiment hunting for a fifth, dark force of nature, the Guardian reports.
A Japanese team is testing a small prototype space elevator, according to news reports. It’s certainly not the fantastical, many-kilometer-long cable of science fiction, but it demonstrates that at least someone is serious about this tech.
The opium poppy is famous for its ability to produce painkilling molecules. Now, by sequencing its genome, a team of scientists from China, the United Kingdom and Australia uncovered several events in the poppy’s history that, together, could have led to the evolution of its opium-producing behavior.