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New Exoplanet Search Strategy Claims First Discovery
By watching for a special kind of flare, astronomers have identified the fingerprints of an Earth-size planet orbiting a distant star.
The Age of Interstellar Visitors
As astronomers get better at finding the comets and asteroids of other stars, they’ll learn more about the universe and our place in it.
The Year in Physics
Physicists saw a black hole for the first time, debated the expansion rate of the universe, pondered the origin of time and modeled the end of clouds.
Astronomers Find Black Holes Stirring Up the Biggest Galaxies
After a space telescope disintegrated, astrophysicists had little hope of understanding how supermassive black holes agitate giant galaxies. Then they invented a hack.
Virginia Trimble Has Seen the Stars
How a young celebrity became one of the first female astronomers at Caltech, befriended Richard Feynman, and ended up the world’s foremost chronicler of the science of the night sky.
What Shape Is the Universe? A New Study Suggests We’ve Got It All Wrong
Most every cosmologist believes the universe is flat. A new analysis argues that it’s closed.
The Most-Magnetic Objects in the Universe Attract New Controversy
How do magnetars get so magnetic? A study of stellar explosions shows that the long-accepted theory might be wrong.
Physics Nobel Honors Early Universe and Exoplanet Discoveries
The astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won half of the prize for their 1995 discovery of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a nearby star. The cosmologist James Peebles won the other half for work exploring the structure of the universe.
Long-Lived Stellar Blast Kindles Hope of a Supernova We’ve Never Seen Before
A giant star’s death throes may offer the first evidence of a pair-instability supernova, and a glimpse of the first stars in the universe.