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astronomy

An illustration of the cosmologists Wendy Freedman and Adam Riess debating the expansion rate of the universe at a recent meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California.
cosmology

Cosmologists Debate How Fast the Universe Is Expanding

New measurements could upend the standard theory of the cosmos that has reigned since the discovery of dark energy 21 years ago.

Abstractions blog

Sun’s Puzzling Plasma Recreated in a Laboratory

For the first time, researchers have created a scale model of the twisting loops of the sun’s magnetic field.

Artists impression of AGN driven outflows from a dwarf galaxy
Abstractions blog

Big Black Holes Found in the Smallest Galaxies

Tiny, dim “dwarf” galaxies have been found to hide gas-spewing black holes.

planetary science

Wandering Space Rocks Help Solve Mysteries of Planet Formation

After an interstellar asteroid shot past the sun, scientists realized that there’s probably a lot of itinerant rocks out there.

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Art for "The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined"
astrophysics

The Sun Is Stranger Than Astrophysicists Imagined

The sun radiates far more high-frequency light than expected, raising questions about unknown features of the sun’s magnetic field and the possibility of even more exotic physics.

Q&A

The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Art for "What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist"
Quantized Columns

What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist

The astrophysicist Janna Levin reflects on the newly unveiled, first-ever photograph of a black hole.