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Saturday, January 16, 2021
why do different cultures see such similar meanings in the constellations?

Why do different cultures see such similar meanings in the constellations?

The Milky Way: a pattern of stars, or a pattern of gaps? Luke Busellato/Wikimedia Commons Almost every person throughout the existence of humankind has looked up at the night sky and seen more than...
an asteroid just buzzed past earth, and we barely noticed in time

An asteroid just buzzed past Earth, and we barely noticed in time

Near-Earth asteroids such as Bennu, and 2019 OK which passes close to Earth this week, pose a potential threat to our planet. NASA A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, Australian...

Five ethical questions for how we choose to use the Moon

When (if) we go back to the Moon we need some rules on behaviour. Flickr/coniferconifer, CC BY The Moon has always served as an inspiration for humanity, and there are many potential benefits for further...

Why the idea of alien life now seems inevitable and possibly imminent

Relative sizes of planets that are in a zone potentially compatible with life: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f and Earth (named left to right; except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions). NASA, CC BY This article is...

First black hole photo confirms Einstein’s theory of relativity

Finally dragged out of the shadows. Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration Black holes are long-time superstars of science fiction. But their Hollywood fame is a little strange given that no-one has ever actually seen...
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Look up! Your guide to some of the best meteor showers for 2019

The 2018 Geminids meteor shower recorded over two very cold hours on the slope of Mount Lütispitz, Switzerland.  Flickr/Lukas Schlagenhauf The year gets off to a bang with the Quadrantids, the first of the annual...
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Earthrise, a photo that changed the world

Earthrise: astronauts aboard Apollo 8 captured this spectacular photo of Earth rising above the lunar horizon as they emerged from behind the dark side of the Moon. Image Credit: NASA December 24 is the 50th...
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Our long fascination with the journey to Mars

Signs of life on Mars? These are the tracks of NASA’s Curiosity rover exploring the Martian landscape. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS It’s touchdown again on Mars, with NASA’s InSight probe due landing sucessfully yesterday. This latest mission will continue our exploration...
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Evidence of aliens? What to make of research and reporting on ‘Oumuamua, our visitor...

An artist’s impression of `Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System.  ESA/Hubble, NASA, ESO, M. Kornmesser As an astrophysicist, probably the most common question I get asked is: “Are we alone in...
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A super-Earth found in our stellar back yard

An artist’s impression of the surface of the planet orbiting Barnard’s Star. ESO - M. Kornmesser The potential discovery of a planet orbiting Barnard’s Star – the second closest stellar system to the Sun –...