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Astronomers Say They Have Spotted the Universe’s First Stars
Theory has it that “Population III” stars brought light to the cosmos. The James Webb Space Telescope may have just glimpsed them.
Standard Model of Cosmology Survives a Telescope’s Findings
Reports that the James Webb Space Telescope killed the reigning cosmological model turn out to have been exaggerated. But astronomers still have much to learn from distant galaxies glimpsed by Webb.
A Dream of Discovering Alien Life Finds New Hope
For Lisa Kaltenegger and her generation of exoplanet astronomers, decades of planning have set the stage for an epochal detection.
Black Hole Image Reveals the Beast Inside the Milky Way’s Heart
In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope released a historic image of a supermassive black hole in another galaxy. The follow-up — an image of Sagittarius A* — shows it shimmering at the center of our own.
Detailed Footage Finally Reveals What Triggers Lightning
Scientists have never been able to adequately explain where lightning comes from. Now the first detailed observations of its emergence inside a cloud have exposed how electric fields grow strong enough to let bolts fly.
The Webb Space Telescope Will Rewrite Cosmic History. If It Works.
The James Webb Space Telescope has the potential to rewrite the history of the cosmos and reshape humanity’s position within it. But first, a lot of things have to work just right.
How Radio Astronomy Reveals the Universe
Radio waves, longer and less energetic than visible light, give astronomers access to some of the most obscure physics in the cosmos.
Social Distancing From the Stars
Professional astronomers may not point their telescopes by hand anymore, but COVID-19 has still closed observatories and impeded research.
A Surprise Discovery Points to the Source of Fast Radio Bursts
After a burst lit up their telescope “like a Christmas tree,” astronomers were able to finally track down the source of these cosmic oddities.