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The Newly Proposed High Definition Space Telescope Makes Hubble Look Like a Toy

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will be “in many ways a hundred times” more capable than Hubble, isn’t launching until 2018, but already astrophysicists are thinking about its successor. They’re calling it the High Definition Space Telescope (HDST). That’s it on the far right, towering over both its… » 8/14/15 11:59am 8/14/15 11:59am

Could a Massive Collision Produce a Subsurface Ocean on Pluto?

Pluto and Charon have captured our hearts and imaginations. But how did these adorably strange worlds form, and what consequences could that have on what we see now? Researcher Amy Barr Mlinar chatted with us about catastrophic collisions, subsurface oceans, and Pluto’s lack of craters. » 7/22/15 8:08am 7/22/15 8:08am

This Shower of Gamma Rays Is from a Flaring Blazar 5 Billion Years Ago

Five billion years ago, a blazar abruptly flared, triggered an intense rain of gamma rays. Racing across the universe for millennia, they finally slammed into NASA’s Fermi satellite over several days this June, setting a new record for the most luminous high-energy object we’ve ever seen. » 7/11/15 10:39am 7/11/15 10:39am

This Beta Pictoris Model is Hypnotizing, Beautiful, and Full of Science

Beta Pictoris is a violently exciting extrasolar system and now we have fresh new models investigating just what is happening in the collisions and chaos. The model of debris, disk, warps, waves, and rings tracks the evolution of the system over millions of years, and is downright gorgeous. » 7/01/15 9:03pm 7/01/15 9:03pm

"Light Echoes" Prove That This Neutron Star is Weirdly Like a Black Hole

Between rainbows, rings, and sharp, hard lines, it’s difficult to not clap my hands in glee while unpacking the levels of awesome crammed in this X-ray image of Circinus X-1. The beautiful bullseye light echoes hint this neutron star is farther, brighter, and more like a black hole than we thought. » 6/25/15 7:00pm 6/25/15 7:00pm