Seekers of gravitational waves are on a cosmic scavenger hunt.
Since the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory turned on in 2015, physicists have caught these ripples in spacetime from several exotic gravitational beasts — and scientists want more.
This week, LIGO and its partner observatory Virgo announced five new possible gravitational wave detections in a...
News in Brief
Gravitational wave sightings are now a weekly occurrence.
It took decades of work to find the first set of ripples in spacetime, detected in 2015 (SN: 3/5/16, p. 6). But now, just a month after reviving the search with newly revamped detectors, scientists with the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories have already made five potential sightings of the tiny, elusive tremors....
The Science Life
The mysterious cube arrived in the summer of 2013. Physicist Timothy Koeth had agreed to go to a parking lot for an unspecified delivery. Inside a blue cloth sack, swathed in paper towels, he found a small chunk of uranium.
It was about 5 centimeters across, with “a white piece of paper wrapped around it, like a ransom note on a stone,” Koeth says. On the paper was a message: “Taken from...
We’re one step closer to understanding the mysterious atmospheric light show called STEVE.
Short for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, STEVE is an unusual type of sky glow that appears closer to the equator than auroras (SN: 4/14/18, p. 5). Unlike the shimmery green ribbons that make up the northern lights, STEVE consists of a mauve band of light that stretches east to west,...
Professor Schrödenberg is missing, and evil agents want to use her quantum computing research for nefarious purposes. Stopping them is up to you, but completing your mission will require solving some mind-bending puzzles —based on science.
If you are up for the challenge, you can test your wits at LabEscape, a science-themed escape room at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, Ill. Escape...
Another route to 104 —04/25/2019 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
In 1964, a few radioactive atoms existed for three-tenths of a second in a Soviet laboratory, and G.N. Flerov and his colleagues, who detected it, announced the discovery of element 104. But the announcement was met with skepticism in the United States.… Now, U.S. scientists declare they have gone their own route to corral the elusive element. — Science News,...
For the first time, researchers have directly observed an exotic type of radioactive decay called two-neutrino double electron capture.
The decay, seen in xenon-124 atoms, happens so sparingly that it would take 18 sextillion years (18 followed by 21 zeros) for a sample of xenon-124 to shrink by half, making the decay extremely difficult to detect. The long-anticipated observation of two...
The big science news of this issue, and so far this year, is the first-ever view of a black hole, announced at 9:07 a.m. April 10 by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, an international effort that linked radio telescopes around the globe to create a planet-sized “camera.” This issue of Science News went to press that very afternoon, and we had a marvelous time making sure the...04/23/2019 - 06:30 Astronomy, Physics, Psychology
The measure of a black hole is what it does with its stars.
That’s one lesson astronomers are taking from the first-ever picture of a black hole, released on April 10 by an international telescope team (SN Online: 4/10/19). That image confirmed that the mass of the supermassive black hole in the center of galaxy M87 is close to what astronomers expected from how nearby stars orbit —...
The Science Life
It’s hard to say which scientist was the first to set eyes on the glowing ring that makes up the world’s first image of a black hole. But astrophysicist Kazunori Akiyama was certainly one of the earliest.
The image, released to the public on April 10, revealed the dark shadow of the supermassive black hole encircled by swirling gas at the center of the galaxy M87 (SN Online: 4/10/19)....