The long, wild story of the universe, in 5 eras

Astronomers find these five chapters to be a handy way of conceiving the universe's incredibly long lifespan.

Image source: Ryan Hutton/unsplash
  • We're in the middle, or thereabouts, of the universe's Stelliferous era.
  • If you think there's a lot going on out there now, the first era's drama makes things these days look pretty calm.
  • Scientists attempt to understand the past and present by bringing together the last couple of centuries' major schools of thought.
Keep reading Show less

Will COVID-19 kill off flat Earthism once and for all?

One silver lining of the pandemic: The value of common sense, facts and rational decisions increases.

Image: Library of Congress – public domain
  • The recent rise of flat-Earth theory can be explained by a certain social and political atmosphere.
  • The coronavirus crisis may put an end to the flat-Earth model's already waning popularity, which has been trending down since 2017.
  • Some have already argued that the coronavirus will sound the death-knell for populism. Perhaps it will prove the last straw for flat Earthism too.
Keep reading Show less

ESO astronomers observe exoplanet where it rains molten iron

The ESO finds another exoplanet that's definitely not a place for us to go.

Image source: diversepixel/MrVander/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • WASP-76b is an extremely hot planet whose cooler side has a surface temperature of 1,500° C (2732° F).
  • Iron that evaporates in the heat of the planet's day side rains down in molten form on the night side.
  • ESO learned more about the planet's intense climate thanks to its new ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) instrument.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists probe why the Universe exists and has matter

A new study rocks prevailing theories on antimatter in the early Universe.

NASA
  • Scientists from around the world teamed up to study the properties of neutrons.
  • They were able to achieve extremely precise measurements of electric compasses in neutrons.
  • The results challenge current theories of why antimatter and matter didn't destroy each other in the early Universe.
Keep reading Show less

UFO sightings: Why Mount Shasta is the new Roswell

A volcano in California is a hot spot for conspiracy theorists.

Photo Credit: Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
  • Unusual UFO-shaped formations were observed in the skies over Mount Shasta.
  • These were actually lenticular clouds that often look like lenses or flying saucers.
  • This volcano peak in California has long been the subject of conspiracy theories.
Keep reading Show less