How stars can limit life in the universe For the past few decades, scientists have been looking at planets outside of our solar system to see if they could host life. Now, scientists have discovered another factor for habitability: radiation from the planet’s central star.

In 1992, the discovery of planets outside of our solar system, called exoplanets, rocked the astronomy community and forever changed humanity’s search for life outside of Earth. With over four-thousand exoplanets found to date, scientists are challenged with determining which READ MORE

Can Artificial Intelligence find new planets for us? Artificial intelligence could identify exoplanet signals faster in the data collected by NASA’s TESS mission.

On a clear night you might easily see Jupiter, Mars or other planets from our solar system. This is how astronomers from thousands of years ago discovered the first planets. We cannot directly observe planets that are farther out in READ MORE

“Hulk”-like microorganisms in soil can survive high levels of gamma radiation Scientists exposed soil microorganisms to low, medium, and high doses of gamma radiation to see who could survive

In the Marvel Universe, Bruce Banner exposed his body to high doses of gamma radiation during an experiment in his lab. The gamma radiation deformed Bruce’s DNA, so whenever he became angry, he could turn into the Hulk. In the READ MORE

Using The Big Bang As A Ruler Cosmologists use baryon acoustic oscillations to map distances as the universe expands

Baryon acoustic oscillations, an artifact remaining from the Big Bang, can be used by scientists to measure cosmological distances regardless of how the distances are changing. Soon after the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, all of the matter READ MORE

An Interstellar Asteroid Just Flew Through Our Solar System Scientists are guessing the origins of an interstellar asteroid visitor they detected speeding through our solar system

An asteroid recently came blazing through our solar system and it appears to be an interstellar visitor. The asteroid, dubbed A/2017 U1, would be the first interstellar object ever to be observed within our own solar system. A/2017 U1 caught READ MORE

New Cavity Discovered in the Great Pyramid of Egypt Cosmic rays from space allowed scientists to detect a mysterious 4000 year old cavity deep in the Great Pyramid

An international team of scientists recently detected a new cavity in the 4000 year old Great Pyramid of Egypt! The detection method, muon tomography, is non-intrusive and so the discovery still awaits confirmation using more traditional techniques that involve (minimally READ MORE

What Protects Exoplanets from Damaging Solar Flares? Simulating different models to understand which factors affect an exoplanet’s ability to sustain life during high-energy stellar events.

Thanks to NASA’s Kepler Mission, over one-thousand potentially habitable exoplanets have been discovered to-date, orbiting around their respective stars. An exoplanet refers to any planet outside of our solar system. The discoveries of these worlds are a major accomplishment for READ MORE

A New Field of Science: Space Pasta and Nuclear Crusts Astromaterial science studies nuclear pasta and Coulomb crystals in neutron stars

A new field of science is born – astromaterial science. First mentioned in today’s paper, this scientific field studies materials of astronomical objects that are denser than materials commonly found on Earth. Scientists, M. E. Caplan and C. J. Horowitz, READ MORE

Gravitational Waves from A Neutron Star Merger Shake the Earth and Astrophysics The LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave detection on Oct 16 leads to major leaps in understanding of astrophysics.

Big News! Astrophysics receives a gift. Interferometers at LIGO and Virgo detected gravitational waves coming from two neutron stars merging. This detection not only supports Einstein’s theory of relativity, but also teaches us even more about astrophysics that we didn’t know before.

The Sleeping Giant in a Small Town A supermassive black hole, 17 billion times the size of our Sun, was found in a small galaxy

Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in the middle of nowhere. This nearly record-breaking supermassive black hole is in the center of a small galaxy cluster, which is a small town by universe standards. At READ MORE