The Arecibo telescope has collapsed: A look at its 57-year history.

Puerto Rico's iconic telescope facilitated important scientific discoveries while inspiring young scientists and the public imagination.

The Arecibo radio telescope

dennisvdwater via AdobeStock
  • The Arecibo Observatory's main telescope collapsed on Tuesday morning.
  • Although officials had been planning to demolish the telescope, the accident marked an unceremonious end to a beloved astronomical tool.
  • The Arecibo radio telescope has facilitated many discoveries in astronomy, including the mapping of near-Earth asteroids and the detection of exoplanets.
Keep reading Show less

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
Keep reading Show less

We’ve mapped a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Take the virtual tour here.

See the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves.

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Astronomers have mapped about a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way, in the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves.

Keep reading Show less

New data reveals Earth closer to a black hole and is moving 16,000 mph faster

A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.

Position and velocity map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Credit: NAOJ
  • A Japanese radio astronomy project revealed Earth is 2,000 light years closer to the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center.
  • The data also showed the planet is moving 7 km/s or 16,000 mph faster in orbit around the Galactic Center.
  • The findings don't mean Earth is in more danger from the black hole but reflect better modeling of the galaxy.
  • Keep reading Show less

    NOAA discovers a new, beautifully weird sea creature

    Exceptionally high-quality videos allow scientists to formally introduce a remarkable new comb jelly.

    Surprising Science
    • Gorgeous simplicity characterizes the comb jelly recently discovered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
    • The small denizen of the deep was spotted three times beneath the waters off Puerto Rico.
    • Though it's unusual to formally identify an animal strictly based on video observations, the quality of NOAA's video made it possible in a case where there's no better alternative.
    Keep reading Show less

    The magic of mushrooms: A mycological trip

    A biologist-reporter investigates his fungal namesake.

    Photo by Mari-Liis Link on Unsplash
    Surprising Science

    The unmatched biologist-reporter Tomasz Sitarz interviews his fungal namesake, maślak sitarz – known in English as the Jersey cow mushroom.

    Keep reading Show less

    A Chinese plant has evolved to hide from humans

    Researchers document the first example of evolutionary changes in a plant in response to humans.

    Credit: MEDIAIMAG/Adobe Stock
    Surprising Science
    • A plant coveted in China for its medicinal properties has developed camouflage that makes it less likely to be spotted and pulled up from the ground.
    • In areas where the plant isn't often picked, it's bright green. In harvested areas, it's now a gray that blends into its rocky surroundings.
    • Herbalists in China have been picking the Fritillaria dealvayi plant for 2,000 years.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast