A Dead Star Has Been Caught Ripping Apart Its Planetary System

When a star dies, what happens to its planets? Well, if that star is a certain white dwarf 86 light-years away, those planets are currently in the process of being torn apart and eaten by the star, like some grotesque cosmic performance of Kronos devouring his children. This is not entirely unusual for white dwarfs. … Read more

Meteorite Discovery Challenges Our Understanding of How Mars Formed

A small chunk of rock that once broke away from Mars and found its way to Earth may hold clues that reveal surprising details about the red planet’s formation. A new analysis of the Chassigny meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1815, suggests that the way Mars obtained its volatile gasses – such as carbon, … Read more

Physicists Say They’ve Built an Atom Laser That Can Run ‘Forever’

A new breakthrough has allowed physicists to create a beam of atoms that behaves the same way as a laser, and that can theoretically stay on “forever”. This might finally mean the technology is on its way to practical application, although significant limitations still apply. Nevertheless, this is a huge step forward for what is … Read more

Breeding 2,000 Generations of Bacteria May Have Solved This Major Debate in Biology

Since the dawn of genetics in the early 20th century, biologists have debated whether evolution is driven more by chance mutations or by the original diversity in the gene pool. Having a lot of genetic options to choose from might make natural selection move a lot faster at the start, but do the genetic mutations … Read more

Scientists Identify The Fastest-Growing Black Hole Ever Found in The Recent Universe

A supermassive black hole growing so fast it shines 7,000 times brighter than the entire Milky Way has just been found, hiding in plain sight. Every second, an amount of material equivalent to the mass of Earth falls into this insatiable black hole. As far as we know, it’s the fastest-growing black hole of the … Read more

The ‘Cosmic Dawn’ of Our Universe Ended Far Later Than We Thought

For tens of millions of years, our newborn Universe was shrouded in hydrogen. Bit by bit, this vast mist was torn apart by the light of the very first stars in a dawn that defined the shape of the emerging cosmos. Having a timeline for this colossal shift would go a long way in helping … Read more

Physicists Caught Sound Moving at Two Different Speeds in 3D Quantum Gas

After previously studying the phenomena of two sound waves in quantum liquids, scientists have now observed sound moving at two different speeds in a quantum gas. If you were somehow immersed in the three-dimensional gas used for this study, you would hear every sound twice: each individual sound carried by two different sound waves moving … Read more

New Study Suggests That a Young Jupiter Gobbled Up Plenty of Planetesimals

Jupiter is composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. The amounts of each closely conform to the theoretical quantities in the primordial solar nebula. But it also contains other heavier elements, which astronomers call metals. Even though metals are a small component of Jupiter, their presence and distribution tell astronomers a lot. According to a … Read more

Even Spiderwebs Are Now Hosting The Most Pervasive Plastic Pollution

If microplastics have boundaries, we do not yet know what they are. We seem to find this microscopic trash everywhere we look, from the bottom of the ocean to Earth’s highest peak. We’re starting to figure out why. Beyond all the disturbing discoveries of microplastics turning up inside our bodies, we now know these tiny … Read more

Researchers Discovered a New Kind of Higgs Relative in The Unlikeliest of Places

Sometimes the discovery of new physics demands insane levels of energy. Big machines. Fancy equipment. Countless hours of sifting through reams of data. And then sometimes the right combination of materials can open a doorway to invisible realms in a space little bigger than a tabletop. Take this new kind of relative to the Higgs … Read more