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astronomy

Neutron star dancers
astronomy

Neutron-Star Collision Shakes Space-Time and Lights Up the Sky

Astronomers have for the first time matched a gravitational-wave signal to a kilonova’s burst of light, observations that will “go down in the history of astronomy.”

Very Large Array, Socorro, NM
Abstractions blog

Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost

Repeating radio bursts are among the most mysterious phenomena in the universe. A new theory explores how some of their puzzling properties can be explained by galactic lenses made of plasma.

Abstractions blog

For Astronomers, Neutron Star Merger Could Eclipse Eclipse

Even as the solar eclipse was mesmerizing millions, astronomers were training their space- and land-based telescopes on a far more violent astrophysical event.

Jay Pasachoff
Q&A

Eclipse Hunter Reveals the Science That Can Only Be Done in the Dark

Even in the age of sun-observing satellites, astronomers like Jay Pasachoff still seek out total solar eclipses for the tales they can tell about our sun.

Kuiper belt objects, planet nine
Abstractions blog

Planet Nine Is Put on Trial in Absentia

Breathless media coverage notwithstanding, the cases for and against a hypothetical Planet Nine in the outskirts of the solar system remain inconclusive.

Black hole merger
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.

Journey to the Birth of the Solar System
Multimedia

Journey to the Birth of the Solar System

Join David Kaplan on a virtual-reality tour showing how the sun, the Earth and the other planets came to be.

Light from the first galaxies clears the universe.
astrophysics

Discoveries Fuel Fight Over Universe’s First Light

A series of observations at the very edge of the universe has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.

astrophysics

A Cosmic Burst Repeats, Deepen­ing a Mystery

After a surprise discovery, astrophysicists are racing to understand superenergetic flashes of radio waves that sometimes beep out from distant galaxies.