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Your search has returned 976 articles:
  • 50 years ago, scientists fought over element 104’s discovery

    Another route to 104 —

    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,...

    04/25/2019 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
  • News

    This is the slowest radioactive decay ever spotted

    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...

    04/24/2019 - 13:00 Particle Physics, Physics, Chemistry
  • Editor's Note

    Seeing very far away and hitting closer to home

    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
  • News

    The M87 black hole image showed the best way to measure black hole masses

    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 —...

    04/22/2019 - 06:00 Physics, Astronomy
  • The Science Life

    Meet one of the first scientists to see the historic black hole image

    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)....

    04/11/2019 - 16:02 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    How scientists took the first picture of a black hole

    Black holes are extremely camera shy. Supermassive black holes, ensconced in the centers of galaxies, make themselves visible by spewing bright jets of charged particles or by flinging away or ripping up nearby stars. Up close, these behemoths are surrounded by glowing accretion disks of infalling material. But because a black hole’s extreme gravity prevents light from escaping, the dark...

    04/10/2019 - 09:57 Astronomy, Physics, Technology
  • News

    All you need to know about the history of black holes

    Black holes have been beguiling from the very beginning.

    Hinted at as early as the 1780s and predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, they didn’t get the name we know today until the 1960s. Bizarre beasts that squash gobs of matter into infinitely dense abysses, black holes were once thought to be merely a mathematical curiosity.

    But astronomers tallied up evidence for...

    04/10/2019 - 09:14 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics

    Editor's note: This story will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available. 

    This is what a black hole looks like.

    A world-spanning network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope zoomed in on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole.

    “We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen...

    04/10/2019 - 09:10 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    How deadly, fast-moving flows of volcanic rock and gas cheat friction

    Dumping literal tons of hot volcanic material down a lab flume may finally have revealed how searing mixtures of hot gas and rock travel so far from volcanic eruptions.

    These pyroclastic flows can travel tens to hundreds of kilometers over rough terrain and even uphill (SN: 7/7/18, p. 32). Despite being made of gritty volcanic rock, “they seem to have as much friction with the ground as...

    04/08/2019 - 11:00 Earth, Physics
  • News in Brief

    The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors are back on

    It’s open season in scientists’ hunt for gravitational waves.

    A trio of detectors are back on the lookout for the ripples in spacetime. And the newly souped-up machines could make this the most productive search yet.

    The two detectors of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, located in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La., and the Virgo detector,...

    04/01/2019 - 11:22 Physics, Astronomy