What's up in


Stringy filaments wiggling against a black background.
Abstractions blog

Some Physicists See Signs of Cosmic Strings From the Big Bang

September 29, 2020

Subtle aberrations in the clockwork blinking of stars could become “the result of the century.” That’s if the distortions are produced by a network of giant filaments left over from the birth of the universe.

Illustration of a magnetar with blue magnetic field lines.
Abstractions blog

The Most-Magnetic Objects in the Universe Attract New Controversy

October 28, 2019

How do magnetars get so magnetic? A study of stellar explosions shows that the long-accepted theory might be wrong.

Art for "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis"
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis

April 29, 2019

A strange glow coming from the Milky Way’s center was thought to be due to ordinary pulsars. But a new look at a years-old study shows that dark matter might still be responsible.

Lede art for "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity"

Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity

April 30, 2018

New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Illustration for Extreme Radio Bursts

Astronomers Trace Radio Burst to Extreme Cosmic Neighborhood

January 10, 2018

A mysterious object that repeatedly bursts with ultra-powerful radio waves must live in an extreme environment — something like the one around a supermassive black hole.

An artist’s view of a pulsar near the center of the Messier 82 galaxy.

Galactic Glow, Thought to Be Dark Matter, Now Hints at Hidden Pulsars

November 14, 2017

A number of high-energy anomalies raised hopes that astrophysicists had seen their first direct glimpses of dark matter. New studies suggest a different source may be responsible.