Ukraine nuclear plant is ‘out of control’: UN nuclear chief

Ukraine nuclear plant is ‘out of control’: UN nuclear chief

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) speaks as Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi listens during a news conference at the Iikura guesthouse in Tokyo on May 19.Hiro Komae/The Associated Press The UN nuclear chief warned that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an … Read more

This Record-Breaking ‘Black Widow’ Pulsar Is The Most Massive Neutron Star Yet

This Record-Breaking ‘Black Widow’ Pulsar Is The Most Massive Neutron Star Yet

One of the most extreme stars in the Milky Way just got even more wack. Scientists have measured the mass of a neutron star named PSR J0952-0607, and found that it’s the most massive neutron star discovered yet, clocking in at a whopping 2.35 times the mass of the Sun. If true, this is very … Read more

There Could Be Planets Orbiting Violent Dead Stars, And Now We Know How to Find Them

There Could Be Planets Orbiting Violent Dead Stars, And Now We Know How to Find Them

Have you heard of LU Camelopardalis, QZ Serpentis, V1007 Herculis, and BK Lyncis? No, they’re not members of a boy band in ancient Rome. They’re Cataclysmic Variables, binary stars that are so close together one star draws material from its sibling. This causes the pair to vary wildly in brightness. Can planets exist in this … Read more

Astronomers Watched a Black Hole Shred a Star – But Surprisingly Little Was Devoured

Astronomers Watched a Black Hole Shred a Star – But Surprisingly Little Was Devoured

What happens when a star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole? The obvious story is that it gets sucked in, never to be seen again. Some of its material gets superheated on the way in and that gives off huge amounts of radiation – usually X-rays. That’s not a wrong explanation, just incomplete. … Read more

After Years of Searching, Physicists Observe Electrons Flow Into Fluid-Like Whirlpools

After Years of Searching, Physicists Observe Electrons Flow Into Fluid-Like Whirlpools

For the first time, physicists have witnessed something incredibly exciting: electrons forming whirlpools just like a fluid. This behavior is one that scientists have long predicted, but never observed before. And it could be the key to developing more efficient and faster next-generation electronics. “Electron vortices are expected in theory, but there’s been no direct … Read more

Physicists Are Startled by This Magnetic Material That ‘Freezes’ When Heated

Physicists Are Startled by This Magnetic Material That ‘Freezes’ When Heated

When disordered magnetic materials are cooled to just the right temperature, something interesting happens. The spins of their atoms ‘freeze’ and lock into place in a static pattern, exhibiting cooperative behavior not usually displayed. Now for the first time, physicists have seen the opposite. When fractionally heated, the naturally occurring magnetic element neodymium freezes, turning … Read more

New Image of Mars Reveals a Crater Eerily Similar to a Huge, Creepy Eye

New Image of Mars Reveals a Crater Eerily Similar to a Huge, Creepy Eye

A new image snapped by a spacecraft orbiting Mars could be enough to give one Lovecraftian nightmares. Far below the camera of ESA’s Mars Express, a large, city-sized, unnamed crater gapes on the surface of the red planet, smears of dark material making it appear like an enormous eye gazing out to the stars. Yet … Read more

Astronomers Discover Brand-New Type of Star Explosion: The Micronova

Astronomers Discover Brand-New Type of Star Explosion: The Micronova

A newly discovered type of stellar explosion could help us better understand thermonuclear outbursts on dead stars. The new phenomena are called micronovae, and they take place on the surface of white dwarf stars that are actively slurping down material from a close binary companion. The accumulation of material onto the white dwarf results in … Read more

One of Our Galaxy’s Most Famous Explosions May Have Collided With Something

One of Our Galaxy’s Most Famous Explosions May Have Collided With Something

A new analysis of one of the most famous explosions in the cosmos has revealed a curious asymmetry. Part of the inner nebula of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant is not, astronomers have found, expanding evenly. Something has caused a section of the cloud to move, not outwards with the rest of the material, but … Read more