What's up in

telescopes

Photo of a sign reading “To Telescope” near Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Quantized Columns

Social Distancing From the Stars

August 11, 2020

Professional astronomers may not point their telescopes by hand anymore, but COVID-19 has still closed observatories and impeded research.

A magnetar.
astrophysics

A Surprise Discovery Points to the Source of Fast Radio Bursts

June 11, 2020

After a burst lit up their telescope “like a Christmas tree,” astronomers were able to finally track down the source of these cosmic oddities.

Illustration of interstellar objects entering our solar system
Quantized Columns

The Age of Interstellar Visitors

January 29, 2020

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.

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

June 11, 2019

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Art for "As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern"
Abstractions blog

As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern

May 16, 2019

Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.

Q&A

The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

April 18, 2019

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Art for "What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist"
Quantized Columns

What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist

April 10, 2019

The astrophysicist Janna Levin reflects on the newly unveiled, first-ever photograph of a black hole.

PHOTO: Sarah Hörst in her lab at JHU
Q&A

The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds

April 8, 2019

Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.

Photo of Priya Natarajan
Q&A

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

February 4, 2019

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