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astrophysics

Photo of Priya Natarajan
Q&A

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

Priyamvada Natarajan has pioneered the mapping and modeling of the universe’s invisible contents, especially dark matter and supermassive black holes.

Art for "How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals"
Abstractions blog

How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals

Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.

Art for "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many"
astrophysics

Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many

Astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now they have the opposite problem.

Art for "New Studies Rescue Gravitational-Wave Signal From the Noise"
gravitational waves

New Studies Rescue Gravitational-Wave Signal From the Noise

Two independent papers vanquish lingering doubts about LIGO’s historic discovery of gravitational waves.

Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, at his home in Cambridge, England.
Q&A

On the Best Use of Science to Safeguard Humanity

For 50 years, the astrophysicist Martin Rees has contributed to our understanding of cosmology. Now he is speaking up about the promise and potential dangers of the science and technology that will arrive over the next 50 years and beyond.

Art for "Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink"
astrophysics

Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink

Quasars powered by supermassive black holes have been unexpectedly vanishing. Scientists have started to figure out why.

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat
Q&A

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

astrophysics

Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.

Photo of Mario Jurić
Q&A

Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

Mario Jurić is leading the push to get astronomy ready for the torrents of data that are about to flow.