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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.
Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory
A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.
What Astronomers Are Learning From Gaia’s New Milky Way Map
A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.
Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity
New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents
The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.
Cookie-Cutter Supernovas Might Come in Different Flavors
Astronomers thought that all Type Ia supernovas shine with the same brightness, making them incredibly useful cosmic yardsticks. But uncertainty over what causes these explosions has led researchers to reconsider their assumptions.
Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries
The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy.