New Hubble images add to the dark matter puzzle

The images and our best computer models don't agree.

  • Scientists can detect the gravitational effects of invisible dark matter.
  • Dark matter causes visual distortions of what's behind it.
  • The greater the distortion, the greater the amount of dark matter. Maybe.
  • Keep reading Show less

    A new minimoon is headed towards Earth, and it’s not natural

    Astronomers spot an object heading into Earth orbit.

    Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Paitoon Pornsuksomboon/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Small objects such as asteroids get trapped for a time in Earth orbit, becoming "minimoons."
  • Minimoons are typically asteroids, but this one is something else.
  • The new minimoon may be part of an old rocket from the 1960s.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Tools for Mars are being developed in preparation for colonization

    Turns out chitin is quite useful when you need a wrench.

    Credit: Dotted Yeti / Shutterstock
    • Researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design constructed Mars-ready tools in preparation for colonization.
    • The team chose chitin as a cheap and abundant material to fashion a wrench and habitat.
    • Chitin occurs naturally in arthropod exoskeletons, fungus, and fish scales.
    Keep reading Show less

    The world’s largest space camera’s first test subject? Broccoli.

    Construction is nearly complete for a camera that will take 3,200-megapixel panoramas of the southern night sky.

  • The Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile is about to get the world's biggest camera for astronomy.
  • The images the camera takes contain billions of pixels.
  • It can capture objects 100 million times fainter than the human eye can see.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Venus' clouds may harbor 'aerial' aliens, MIT scientists say

    Scientists have detected within the Venusian atmosphere a chemical known to be a byproduct of life.

    • A team of researchers has detected significant amounts of phosphine within the cloud deck of Venus.
    • Computer simulations suggest that the amount of phosphine in the Venusian atmosphere couldn't have been produced by known inorganic processes.
    • The findings aren't conclusive evidence of alien life, but they do suggest Venus shouldn't be overlooked in the search for alien life.
    Keep reading Show less