Space

  1. illustration of a newfound white dwarf star
    Astronomy

    This moon-sized white dwarf is the smallest ever found

    A newfound white dwarf is the smallest and perhaps the most massive known, and spins around once every seven minutes.

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  2. illustration of a spacecraft carrying NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock orbiting above Earth
    Physics

    An atomic clock that could revolutionize space travel just passed its first test

    The most precise clock ever sent to space successfully operated in Earth’s orbit for over a year.

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  3. illustration of a black hole merging with a neutron star
    Physics

    Gravitational waves reveal the first known mergers of a black hole and neutron star

    For the first time, LIGO and Virgo have detected long-anticipated gravitational waves from a black hole merging with a neutron star.

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  4. illustration of the milky way galaxy
    Physics

    Dark matter may slow the rotation of the Milky Way’s central bar of stars

    A method akin to studying a tree’s rings revealed the history of a slowdown of the rotating bar of stars at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.

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  5. a row of stars in the night sky, with the milky way in the background
    Astronomy

    Any aliens orbiting these 2,000 stars could spot Earth crossing the sun

    Alien astronomers in those star systems could discover Earth the way we find exoplanets: by watching for a dip in starlight.

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  6. illustration of a cosmic filament
    Space

    Cosmic filaments may be the biggest spinning objects in space

    Filaments of dark matter and galaxies, which can stretch millions of light-years, might help astronomers figure out the origins of cosmic spin.

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  7. a screen capture from a declassified video of an unidentified object
    Science & Society

    50 years ago, UFO sightings in the United States went bust

    In 1971, reports of unidentified flying objects were on the decline. Fifty years later, sightings have spiked thanks in part to pandemic lockdowns.

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  8. four images of Betelgeuse before and during its Great Dimming
    Astronomy

    Dust and a cold spell on Betelgeuse could explain why the giant star dimmed

    Scientists had two options to explain Betelgeuse’s weird behavior in late 2019. They chose both.

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  9. simulation of gravitational waves from two merging black holes
    Physics

    Gravitational waves confirm a black hole law predicted by Stephen Hawking

    The first black hole merger detected by LIGO affirms that the surface area of a black hole can increase over time, but not decrease.

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  10. planet orbiting star WASP-79
    Space

    Most planets on tilted orbits pass over the poles of their suns

    Nearly all of the worlds on misaligned trajectories in other solar systems orbit at nearly 90 degrees to their stars’ equators.

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  11. a group of mice that were exposed to space radiation
    Animals

    Mouse sperm thrived despite six years of exposure to space radiation

    A space station experiment suggests future deep-space explorers don’t need to worry about passing the effects of space radiation on to their children.

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  12. Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope
    Astronomy

    An arc of galaxies 3 billion light-years long may challenge cosmology

    Dubbed “the Giant Arc,” the purported structure is much larger than expected in a cosmos where matter is thought to be evenly distributed.

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