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How to See a Black Hole: Introducing Dark Star Diaries

How to See a Black Hole: Introducing Dark Star Diaries

The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the "shadow" that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast.

March 27, 2014 — Seth Fletcher

The March 11 Solar Flare

We live a mere 93 million miles from an enormous fusion reactor. It’s easy to overlook this, after all the Sun is only about halfway through its long slog of converting protons into helium nuclei deep inside its core.

March 31, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

What Are Black Hole Firewalls? [Video]

Black holes break theories. These sites of extremely large masses in extremely small spaces invoke both of the behemoths of modern physics—general relativity (which rules over large masses) and quantum mechanics (which reigns in small spaces).

March 24, 2015 — Clara Moskowitz

Spawning Stars

An extraordinary new image shows a protostellar disk fragmenting into multiple stars

November 22, 2016 — Caleb A. Scharf

Giving ALMA a Heart Transplant

Before they can see Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, the astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) must complete an epic to-do list.

August 11, 2014 — Seth Fletcher

Neil deGrasse Tyson at 85% the Speed of Light

This video made me laugh harder than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Okay, except for some Louis CK videos. But for a non-comedian (allegedly)… this is hard to beat.

April 2, 2014 — Brian Malow

Exoplanet Size: It’s Elementary

Since quite early in the history of the discovery of planets around other stars it’s been apparent that the likelihood of certain types of planets around a star is related to the abundance of heavy elements in that system.

June 3, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Merging Black Holes: A Matter of Some Gravity

Two black holes merging can cast off a few percent of their total mass as gravitational waves in just minutes, sending the final object off on a high-speed journey through the universe

February 8, 2016 — Caleb A. Scharf

Super Supernovae

The largest stars die in explosions more powerful than anyone thought possible—some triggered in part by the production of antimatter

May 21, 2013 — Avishay Gal-Yam
Scientists Find First Neutrinos from Distant Space [Video]

Scientists Find First Neutrinos from Distant Space [Video]

The world has heard the first faint whispers of the most powerful cataclysms in the universe. Scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe—the first time scientists have found neutrinos coming from outside our own solar [...]

November 21, 2013 — Michael Moyer

Visualizing 4-Dimensional Asteroids

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Jake VanderPlas, a data scientist who worked on the Graphic Science illustration in the October issue of Scientific American magazine.

September 16, 2014 — Jake VanderPlas

Naked Singularities

The black hole has a troublesome sibling, the naked singularity. Physicists have long thought—hoped—it could never exist. But could it?

May 21, 2013 — Pankaj S. Joshi
Hubble Unearths Distant Colourful Dwarf Galaxies

Hubble Unearths Distant Colourful Dwarf Galaxies

Hubble has uncovered a goldmine of young dwarf galaxies that are undergoing intense bursts of star formation. Dwarf galaxies are the most common in the universe but until now astronomers had seen few examples of distant dwarf galaxies because they are small and not very bright.

November 24, 2011 — Kelly Oakes

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