TESS telescope has found eight new planets, six supernovae

It has found several bizarre planets outside of our solar system.

NASA/Kim Shiflett
  • The Kepler program closed down in August, 2018, after nine and a half years of observing the universe.
  • Picking up where it left off, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found eight planets, three of which scientists are very excited about, and six supernovae.
  • In many ways, TESS is already outperforming Kepler, and researchers expect it to find more than 20,000 exoplanets over its lifespan.
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10 science photos that made history and changed minds

These photos of scientific heroes and accomplishments inspire awe and curiosity.

  • Science has given humanity an incalculable boost over the recent centuries, changing our lives in ways both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  • Fortunately, photography, a scientific feat in and of itself, has recorded some of the most important events, people and discoveries in science, allowing us unprecedented insight and expanding our view of the world.
  • Here are some of the most important scientific photos of history:
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Tholins: The red goo critical to life in the universe

Carl Sagan—who first coined the term—was tempted to call them "star-tar."

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
  • Tholins are a broad group of organic compounds formed when simpler molecules are irradiated.
  • They are extremely common in our solar system, and studies have shown that their properties are incredibly useful to emerging life.
  • By tracking and understanding tholins, we might be able to find extraterrestrial life and even explain how life began on Earth.
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3 proofs that debunk flat-Earth theory

We're finally here! We've been counting down the 10 most popular videos of 2018. This is #1...

  • Hey flat Earthers, it's time to put your theory to bed once and for all! "There are so many proofs that the Earth is round, it's difficult to know where to start. And it's not okay to think that the Earth is flat; this is not a viable argument," says NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller.
  • Thaller explains three observable proofs that instantly debunk flat-Earth theory with irrefutable evidence of the Earth's round, curvaceous, gloriously spherical shape.
  • The ancient Greeks figured out we were living on a sphere over 2,000 years ago, and there are things you can do to prove that the Earth is indeed round—just go to a body of water and look at ships or boats on the horizon with binoculars. Watch the video for the details!
  • You can follow Michelle Thaller on Twitter at @mlthaller.
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Michio Kaku: Let’s not advertise our existence to aliens

The countdown continues! The 4th most popular video from 2018 involves humanity hiding behind a tree.

  • If advanced alien civilizations do exist, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku asks: Why would they want anything to do with us? It would be like an academic talking to a squirrel, he suggests, and he has a great point.
  • Hollywood and science fiction novels have conditioned us for years to believe that aliens either want to hang out on our intellectual level and learn from us... or destroy us. If alien life really does have the technology and know-how to make it all the way here, perhaps we should just play it cool and not assume that we are the top species in the universe.
  • Kaku speculates that our hypothetical demise would come at the hands of an intelligence civilization that sees us as no more than deer in the woods and wipes us out by accident — just as we have done to (what we deem) less remarkable species since time immemorial. Our best bet for survival? Lie low.
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