Space

If we’re going to head out into interstellar space one day, we might want to go equipped with some heavy-duty degreaser. New research has found that the vast intervals of space aren’t always filled with dry dust, but often contain a mist of greasy molecules. And there’s a lot of space grease out there. The
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A mysterious cataclysm in a neighboring galaxy was spotted in the sky above Hawaii last week, sending astronomers around the world scrambling to understand the source of the staggeringly brilliant flash. “I’ve never seen anything like this before in the local universe,” said Stephen Smartt, an astrophysicist at Queen’s University Belfast and a lead scientist
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The Fermi Paradox remains a stumbling block when it comes to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Named in honor of the famed physicist Enrico Fermi who first proposed it, this paradox addresses the apparent disparity between the expected probability that intelligent life is plentiful in the Universe, and the apparent lack of evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence
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The curvature of empty space caused by an entire galaxy has now been pinned down with unprecedented precision, demonstrating Einstein’s theory of general relativity still rules on a super-sized scale. Not that anybody is seriously surprised. But on the off chance the results had failed to meet expectations, they might have provided insight into some
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Almost all the large vertebrates on Earth suddenly went extinct 66 million years ago – including dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and pterosaurs. A city-size asteroid or comet is thought to be responsible for that mass extinction. The impact, called the Chicxulub event, triggered global cooling and volcanic eruptions that transformed Earth. In the 1980s, Richard Muller,
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Chris Hadfield, most widely known for his zero-gravity guitar-playing, has seen an impressive amount of space travel. Between his first spaceflight in 1995, his second in 2001, and a third in 2013, Hadfield has flown inside NASA space shuttles, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and the International Space Station. Hadfield, who’s now retired, shares his expertise
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Particles collected from Earth’s upper atmosphere, originally deposited by comets, are older than our Solar System, scientists say – and these fine bits of interstellar dust could teach us about how planets and stars form from the very beginning. These cosmic particles have lived through at least 4.6 billion years and travelled across incredible distances,
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The source of a mysterious microwave glow detected across our galaxy eluded astronomers for decades. But now a crack team has finally pinpointed the source: nanoscopic particles of crystalline carbon, otherwise known as diamond dust. There are several environments across the Milky Way that produce a faint glow known as anomalous microwave emission (AME). Scientists
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