New evidence threatens to crush the dreams of alien megastructures (Synopsis)

“Just to clarify, neither Jason or myself … are advocating that it is an alien megastructure, but we also can’t completely rule it out.” -Kimberly Cartier When we launched the Kepler spacecraft, we expected that we’d be able to measure the light from over 100,000 stars at once, practically continuously, over the timespan of many … Read moreNew evidence threatens to crush the dreams of alien megastructures (Synopsis)

5 scientific myths you probably believe about the Universe (Synopsis)

“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” -Thomas Aquinas Sure, you’ve studied a little physics. You know about Einstein and General Relativity, the quantum nature of the Universe and the fundamental … Read more5 scientific myths you probably believe about the Universe (Synopsis)

Comments of the Week #140: from becoming an astronaut to a perfect Universe

“You’re not looking for perfection in your partner. Perfection is all about the ego. With soulmate love, you know that true love is what happens when disappointment sets in – and you’re willing to deal maturely with these disappointments.” -Karen Salmansohn It’s been a great week full of great stories from the Universe here at Starts … Read moreComments of the Week #140: from becoming an astronaut to a perfect Universe

Ask Ethan: What’s the deal with the speed of light? (Synopsis)

“Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.” -Albert Einstein, 1905 The more kinetic energy you impart to something, the faster you go. But there’s a limit: … Read moreAsk Ethan: What’s the deal with the speed of light? (Synopsis)

A Perfect Universe: could it have been born completely uniform? (Synopsis)

“First, you should check out my house. It’s, like, kinda lame, but way less lame than, like, your house.” -Lumpy Space Princess, Adventure Time Billions of years ago, before the Universe contained clusters, galaxies, stars or even neutral atoms, everything was uniform. Almost perfectly uniform, where the densest regions weren’t even 0.01% denser than average. … Read moreA Perfect Universe: could it have been born completely uniform? (Synopsis)

Why does the ‘Windchill factor’ make you feel so cold? (Synopsis)

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” -J.K. Rowling As cold as it gets outside over the coming months, particularly with the effect of a displaced polar vortex … Read moreWhy does the ‘Windchill factor’ make you feel so cold? (Synopsis)

No, Earth is not overdue for a massive asteroid strike (Synopsis)

“Bringing an asteroid back to Earth? What’s that have to do with space exploration? If we were moving outward from there, and an asteroid is a good stopping point, then fine. But now it’s turned into a whole planetary defense exercise at the cost of our outward exploration.” -Buzz Aldrin Between recent statements from NASA, … Read moreNo, Earth is not overdue for a massive asteroid strike (Synopsis)

Spinning black hole swallows star; surpasses all supernovae in brightness (Synopsis)

“Even with all the collected data we cannot say with 100% certainty that the ASASSN-15lh event was a tidal disruption event. But it is by far the most likely explanation.” -Giorgos Leloudas Last year, a record-shattering event occurred: we saw the brightest supernova ever observed in the Universe. It outshone the previous record holder by … Read moreSpinning black hole swallows star; surpasses all supernovae in brightness (Synopsis)