As It Turns Out, We Really Are All Starstuff

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars," Carl Sagan famously said in his 1980 series Cosmos. "We are made of starstuff." » 3/24/15 10:00am Tuesday 10:00am

The 9 Weirdest Implications Of The Many Worlds Interpretation

According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications. » 3/23/15 10:00am 3/23/15 10:00am

Why Do We See Familiar Looking Objects On The Red Planet?

What's up with all the "fossils" on Mars? They are figments of our imaginations, driven by our interest to be there – on Mars – and to know that we are not alone. Altogether, they feed a multitude of web pages and threads across the internet. » 2/28/15 10:10am 2/28/15 10:10am

How Can Space Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

Light speed is often spoken of as a cosmic speed limit … but not everything plays by these rules. In fact, space itself can expand faster than a photon could ever hope to travel. » 2/22/15 10:35am 2/22/15 10:35am

The Universe's First Stars Flickered On Much Later Than We Thought

A new assessment of the Cosmic Microwave Background shows that the oldest stars ignited 150 million years later than previously thought. It's a realization that's forcing cosmologists to rethink the 13.8 billion year history of the Universe. » 2/06/15 11:20am 2/06/15 11:20am

How Did Edgar Allan Poe Manage To Describe The Big Bang In 1848?

They mocked when Edgar Allan Poe published his prose poem "Eureka" in his last year of life, describing how the universe had begun with a single "primordial particle" that exploded outwards in "one instantaneous flash." But 80 years later, cosmologists started realizing that Poe had been on to something. » 1/28/15 7:00pm 1/28/15 7:00pm

How We Came To Recognize The Sun As The Center Of Our Solar System

The Sun-centered model of the solar system was first proposed more than a thousand years before Copernicus. » 1/24/15 10:00am 1/24/15 10:00am

A helium balloon fitted with six telescopes is currently floating over Antarctica. It's called SPIDER, and it could show what happened during the Big Bang. Scientists will use it to search for patterns of polarization that could have only been made in primordial light in the fractions of seconds after the birth of the… » 1/05/15 9:20am 1/05/15 9:20am

​Without Dark Matter, There Would Be No Life

The evolution of life is a 13.8 billion-year-long chain of events, from the Big Bang through the creation of chemical elements, galaxies, planets and the first self-replicating organisms. But without dark matter's influence, says an astrophysicist, it's hard to see how anything as complex as life could have emerged. » 12/02/14 6:40am 12/02/14 6:40am

Does Our Universe Bear the Scars of a Collision with Another Universe?

Though many physicists believe it's possible that our universe is one of many in a multiverse, they struggle to find concrete evidence to back up that hypothesis. But now, we may find that evidence — if we look for the wreckage left behind by a collision of cosmic proportions. » 11/11/14 5:30pm 11/11/14 5:30pm

Our Universe Is Full Of Solitary Stars Flung Free Of Galaxies

The Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment fired cameras above our atmosphere to collect just seven minutes of data, but these short experiments were enough to make us realize that the vast space between galaxies is not empty, but full of solitary stars. » 11/07/14 4:02am 11/07/14 4:02am

Is It Time to Accept That We're Alone in the Universe?

We have yet to discover any signs of aliens, a troubling observation that has led to much speculation. One possible solution to the Great Silence is that nobody's out there. It's a conclusion that sounds impossible to believe, but there may be something to it. Here's why we may be alone in the universe. » 11/05/14 12:20pm 11/05/14 12:20pm

It's Looking More and More Likely That We Live in a Multiverse

Could our massive universe be just one of many, like a bubble in a frothy stream of cosmos-spawning stuff? It sounds like something out of a 1970s British scifi novel, but it's become a popular explanation for the origin of our universe. But how can we test this hypothesis, when we're stuck in just one universe? » 11/03/14 3:20pm 11/03/14 3:20pm

​What If Dark Matter Were Actually A Vast Electric Field?

There isn't enough visible matter in the universe to account for the gravitational force that holds galaxies together. That's why scientists are searching for evidence of the missing "dark matter" that makes it possible. Now, one researcher has advanced an odd theory: dark matter is actually a galactic-scale… » 11/03/14 1:40pm 11/03/14 1:40pm

Curious Signal Could Be Dark Matter Pouring From The Sun's Core

This could be historic: Astronomers from Leicester University have detected a strange signal in the X-ray spectrum that appears to be a signature of 'axions' — a hypothetical dark matter particle. It could take years to confirm, but this may be the first direct detection and identification of dark matter. » 10/17/14 8:00am 10/17/14 8:00am

A 19th Century Math Genius Taught Us The Best Way To Hold Pizza

We've all been there. You pick up a slice of pizza and you're about to take a bite, but it flops over and dangles limply from your fingers instead. The crust isn't stiff enough to support the weight of the slice. Maybe you should have gone for fewer toppings? No. There's no need to despair. » 10/10/14 9:30am 10/10/14 9:30am

Half Of Our Planet's Water May Be Older Than The Sun

The next time you reach for a glass of water you might want to think about its primordial origins. A new study suggests that upwards of 50% of the Earth's water may be older thank the solar system itself. » 9/26/14 9:20am 9/26/14 9:20am