Astronomers Have Identified a New Kind of Supernova We Never Knew Existed

We often think of supernova explosions as inevitable for big stars. Big star running out of fuel, gravity crashing its core, and BOOM! But astronomers have long thought that at least one type of giant star didn’t end with a supernova. Known as Wolf-Rayet stars, they were thought to end with a quiet fall of … Read more

A New Study Calculates The Number of Black Holes in The Universe. It’s a Lot

Since we can’t see black holes, it’s hard to know exactly how much is out there in the large, vast Universe. But that doesn’t mean we have no means of trying to solve the problem. Stellar mass black holes are the core of giant dead stars, and new research incorporating how these stars and binary … Read more

Huge Project Is Now Underway to Sequence The Genome of Every Complex Species on Earth

The Earth Biogenom Project, a global consortium seeking to sequence the genomes of all complex terrestrial life on earth (approximately 1.8 million described species) in ten years, is growing. The origins, goals, and progress of the project are detailed in two multi-author papers published today. Once complete, it will change the way biological research is … Read more

You’ve Got a Rare Chance to See a Huge Asteroid Fly by Earth This Week. Here’s How

In a slow-moving universe, asteroids give us a rare opportunity to see things move in real time. We have such an opportunity coming up straight on Tuesday, January 18th, when a 1.1-kilometer (7482) 1994 PC1 asteroid goes 1.23 million miles (1.98 million kilometers) from Earth. This is about five times the distance from Earth to … Read more

A Common Virus Can Trigger Multiple Sclerosis, According to Huge New Study

Multiple sclerosis – an autoimmune disease affecting the brain and spinal cord – can emerge after Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. It is estimated that 90 to 95 percent of people catch EBV, also known as human herpes virus 4, by the time they reach adulthood, according to the clinical resource UpToDate. In children, the virus … Read more

Walking on a carpet of HUGE calcite crystals (Moriglion di Penna, Lucca, Italy) – Geology is the Way

When I was teaching with the Geology I course in Pisa, I used to tell students: “The best way to learn how to identify minerals is to start from large samples”. I think we’re exaggerating here. Mount Moriglion di Penna ascends on a windy May day. Some time ago, under pressure from locksmiths, restraints and … Read more

Huge Mars Dust Storm Sends NASA’s InSight Lander Into Safe Mode

This photo shows NASA’s Mars InSight landing on the surface of Mars. Credit: NASA The lander has taken energy saving measures; engineers aim to return to normal operations next week.NASAInSight’s gutter is stable and sends health data from March to Earth after reaching safe mode on Friday, Jan. 7, following a major, regional dust storm … Read more

Microbes in The Ocean Depths Can Make Oxygen Without Sun. This Discovery Could Be Huge

For most of life on Earth, oxygen is essential, and it usually requires sunlight to produce that oxygen. But in an exciting twist, researchers have caught an ordinary microbe living in the ocean breaking all the rules. Scientists have discovered that there is a microbe called Nitrosopumilus maritimus and many of its cousins, known as … Read more