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E.g., 10/06/2015
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  • Feature

    Using general relativity to magnify the cosmos

    One of the most powerful known magnifying lenses isn’t found on Earth. The lens is built from stars, gas and dark matter and lies about 4 billion light-years away. As astronomers peer through it, they are finding the seeds of galaxies that were scattered around the universe more than 13 billion years ago.

    The lens is known as Abell 2744, a cosmic pileup where four groups of galaxies are...

    10/06/2015 - 12:38 Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Discovery of neutrino mass earns 2015 physics Nobel

    The discovery that subatomic particles called neutrinos have mass has won Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur McDonald of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics. The scientists led two sophisticated experiments that found that the elusive particles can morph from one variety into another — a phenomenon that can occur only if neutrinos have mass...

    10/06/2015 - 06:41 Particle Physics, Cosmology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Centennial books illuminate Einstein’s greatest triumph

    You don’t need an anniversary as an excuse to write a book about Albert Einstein. But the centennial of his general theory of relativity has nonetheless provided an occasion for several new entries in the Einstein library. And even though general relativity — Einstein’s theory of gravity — has been thoroughly explored many times, some 2015 publications do offer new twists and insights.


    10/04/2015 - 07:00 History of Science, Science & Society, Physics, Cosmology
  • Feature

    Einstein's genius changed science's perception of gravity

    Albert Einstein opened humankind’s eyes to the universe.

    Before Einstein, space seemed featureless and changeless, as Isaac Newton had defined it two centuries earlier. And time, Newton declared, flowed at its own pace, oblivious to the clocks that measured it. But Einstein looked at space and time and saw a single dynamic stage — spacetime — on which matter and energy strutted,...

    10/04/2015 - 05:30 Astronomy, Physics, History of Science
  • News

    First stars may lurk in our galactic neighborhood

    They’re hiding among us. Some of the first stars to appear in the universe might still be lurking in the Milky Way, masked by nearly 13 billion years of cosmic pollution.

    Computer simulations indicate that relatively lightweight first-generation stars might be scattered throughout the galaxy. Observations have yet to turn up any but that’s because exposure to interstellar dust and gas...

    10/02/2015 - 06:00 Astronomy
  • The Name Game

    Ceres mountains and craters named for food

    Tubers, maize and even eggplants are finally getting the astronomical recognition they deserve. Or at least that’s true for the deities that look after the crops and celebrations of their harvest. Fifteen craters and mountains on the dwarf planet Ceres were officially named on September 21 after various spirits and celebrations...

    10/01/2015 - 12:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Salt streaks sign of present-day water flows on Mars

    Liquid water might not be a distant memory on Mars. New data suggest water flows on the Red Planet even today. Seasonal dark streaks etched onto some slopes are coated with salts that need liquid water to form, researchers report online September 28 in Nature Geoscience. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded spectra...

    09/28/2015 - 11:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    67P reveals recipe for a comet

    To make one oddly shaped comet, take two smaller comets and squish them together. That probably explains why comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko looks like a rubber duck, a new study reports.

    Since the Rosetta spacecraft’s arrival last August (SN: 9/6/14, p. 8), researchers have debated whether 67P...

    09/28/2015 - 10:42 Planetary Science
  • How Bizarre

    Mysterious circles appear, grow on comet

    A comet is growing its own version of crop circles. Over the course of a month, five expanding disklike depressions appeared on the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in images taken by the Rosetta spacecraft, which has been orbiting 67P since August 2014 (...

    09/28/2015 - 08:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    This weekend, lunar eclipse coincides with supermoon

    Once in a blue moon, a supermoon turns into a blood moon. During the September 27 total lunar eclipse, the moon will turn a deep crimson when it passes through Earth’s shadow on its monthly closest approach to the planet — something that hasn’t happened since 1982.

    The eclipse will run from 9:07 p.m. Eastern...

    09/25/2015 - 12:45 Astronomy