tech and geek stuff
"Alien megastructure" star is at it again
The perplexing cosmic object known as "Boyajian's star" is once again exhibiting a mysterious pattern of dimming and brightening that scientists have tried to explain with hypotheses ranging from swarms...
Astronomers probe 'alien megastructure' star
KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby's Star, has been monitored for several years after it was noticed that its brightness changed significantly and at irregular intervals.A range of theories have been put...
Astronomers scramble as ‘alien megastructure’ star dims again
NASA JPL / CaltechBy Leah Crane The most famously weird star in our galaxy is acting up again. On Friday, 19 May, Tabby’s star began to dim, carrying on a history of mysterious dips in brightness. Astronomers...
Nearby star is a good model of our early solar system
Scientists have confirmed a nearby star's planetary system contains separate belts of asteroids, similar to our own solar system. The star is also about one-fifth the age of our sun. All that makes this...
'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing
Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however,...
The five best exoplanets in the galaxy to check for alien life
LHS 1140b may be right for lifeESO/spaceengine.orgBy Leah CraneThere’s another “Earth-like” world in our galaxy. Today, Jason Dittmann at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his colleagues...
Newly discovered exoplanet may be best candidate in search for signs of life
An exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth may be the new holder of the title 'best place to look for signs of life beyond the solar system.' Using ESO's HARPS instrument, and other...
'Super-Earth' is 'promising candidate' for life
The so-called "super-Earth" is 39 light years away, outside the solar system, and, like Earth, thought to be around five billion years old - long enough for life to have evolved.A light year is the distance...
Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best phone in the world
TechRadar has reviewed the brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 and it’s our favorite phone you can buy right now.The Samsung Galaxy S8 received a 4.5 star rating with our review praising it for an amazing display,...
Volunteers spot four super-Earths orbiting sun-like star
it’s over here…NASAAFTER just two days, volunteer scientists taking part in a planet-hunting project have discovered four super-Earths orbiting a sun-like star. This brings the count of stars with four...
ALMA captures dramatic stellar fireworks
Stellar explosions are most often associated with supernovae, the spectacular deaths of stars. But new observations provide insights into explosions at the other end of the stellar life cycle, star birth....
The coldest place in the universe marks a double stellar grave
Boom bang the heat’s goneNASA, ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)By Shannon HallTHE coldest place in the universe marks the grave of two stars. So says a team that trained the ALMA telescope...
Oddball star could be home to long-sought superheavy elements
Island of stability items may be in stockAlan Dyer/Stocktrek Images/GettyBy Jesse EmspakIt is a fabled place, the “island of stability” at the edge of the periodic table, where superheavy elements are...
A little less ET, a little more astrophysics, if you please
Andrzej Krauze WHEN astronomy is faced with the unexplained, ET is sometimes invoked until we know better. There were the “canals” of Mars in 1877. And the idea of “little green men” was raised when Jocelyn...
Star's death dive into black hole mapped by NASA satellite
A star’s long-ago death dive into a black hole generated cosmic fireworks that are revealing more and more about the dramatic encounter. The star got too close to its galaxy’s central black hole about...
New Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula
In the search for rogue planets and failed stars astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have created a new mosaic image of the Orion Nebula. During their survey of the famous star formation...
Nasa discovers seven new exoplanets with great potential for alien life
We are living in a great age of discovery. We first confirmed the existence of an exoplanet, one orbiting another star, in 1992. Today, we know of more than 3,500. And Nasa just added seven more to that...
Seven Earth-size planets found around nearby star may have water
TRAPPIST-1 has seven planetsESO/M. Kornmesser/spaceengine.orgBy Joshua SokolA nearby star has seven temperate Earth-size planets within a stone’s throw of each other – each offering its own chance for...
Nearby system has 7 Earth-sized planets, several in the habitable zone
Enlarge NASA/JPL-Caltech reader comments 60 Share this story Less than a year ago, an international team of astronomers put the star TRAPPIST-1 in the news. TRAPPIST-1 itself is unremarkable, belonging...
NASA telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the...
7 Earth-size planets found orbiting dwarf star
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a nearby star - and these new worlds could hold life.This cluster of planets is less than...
New delta Scuti: Rare pulsating star 7,000 light years away is one of only seven in Milky Way
The newest delta Scuti (SKOO-tee) star in our night sky is so rare it's only one of seven identified by astronomers in the Milky Way. The star -- like our sun -- is in the throes of stellar evolution,...
The heart of a far-off star beats for its planet
For the first time, astronomers have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star, which goes by the name HAT-P-2, is about 400 light years from Earth and is circled by a gas giant...
Dwarf star 200 light years away contains life's building blocks
Many scientists believe the Earth was initially dry and that water, carbon and nitrogen -- the building blocks for life -- likely came as a result of collisions with objects that began their lives in the...
A black hole has been devouring a star for a decade
Enlarge / This artist's illustration depicts what astronomers call a "tidal disruption event," when an object such as a star wanders too close to a black hole and is destroyed by the black hole's intense...
This huge black hole ripped apart a star, then fed on it for a decade
Black holes are one of the great terrors of the Universe. They're parts of space so dense that not even light can escape their gravity. Once you pass their outer boundary - the "event horizon" - you're...
Black hole has taken a record-breaking decade to devour a star
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Scientists have detected a black hole that’s taken a record-breaking decade to devour a star -- and it’s still chewing away. The food fest is happening in a small galaxy 1.8 billion...
Water spotted in the atmosphere of nearby hot Jupiter exoplanet
Is water, water everywhere?NASA/JPL-CaltechBy Shannon HallA FARAWAY world is steaming. Astronomers have found water vapour in the atmosphere of an exoplanet called 51 Pegasi b — and achieved the feat...
Rapid gas flares discovered in white dwarf star for the first time
Incredibly rapid gas flares from a white dwarf binary star system have been detected for the first time by scientists. The first sighting of such activity, it suggests that our current understanding of...
Cold case: The unsolved mystery of what lit Kepler’s supernova
Supernova remnants as discovered by Johannes Kepler in 1604X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M.Burkey et al; Optical: DSSBy Joshua SokolThe facts of the case are as follows. On the night of 9 October 1604, Europe...
Lucasfilm: Carrie Fisher will not return to Star Wars in CGI form
reader comments 2 Share this story This report contains possible spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Enlarge / Lucasfilm says that you're more likely to see this baby portray Leia in a future Star...
Binary stars shred up and shove off their newborn planets
Hostile conditions for planetsNASA/JPL-CaltechBy Ramin SkibbaFor planets, two stars are not better than one. A potential planet orbiting two suns has to overcome so many obstacles that most such systems...
Our galaxy's black hole is spewing out planet-size 'spitballs'
Every few thousand years, an unlucky star wanders too close to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole's powerful gravity rips the star apart, sending a long streamer of gas whipping...
From Hoth to Bespin: The planets of Star Wars are more real than you think
"If there's a bright centre to the universe, you're on the planet that's farthest from," says Luke Skywalker in A New Hope. Rocky Tatooine does look a bit dull, but with two suns it's not all bad. The...
Astronomers discover dark past of planet-eating 'Death Star'
Scientists have made the rare discovery of a planetary system with a host star similar to Earth's sun. Especially intriguing is the star's unusual composition, which indicates it ingested some of its planets....
10 ways George Lucas's Star Wars prequels tried to ruin the original films
We grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy, a world so wonderfully drawn and fascinatingly coloured that it left us desperate for more. And then George Lucas decided to give us what we wanted, and...
Black hole rips star apart in biggest blast ever seen
In January, scientists said they discovered an exploding star ending in a super-luminous supernova that was almost inconceivably bright — more so than the output of the entire Milky Way. Now, new research...
Brightest-ever supernova isn’t a supernova after all
Enlarge / Artist's impression of a star like the Sun circling in toward a supermassive black hole, being torn apart by its tidal forces. The distortion around the black hole's edges is due to light from...
Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?
What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years' time, the sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers...
Stellar "circle of life" captured in new NASA photo
The life cycle of stars comes full circle in a new photo taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian’s Submillimeter Array (SMA), which may reveal new clues for studying star evolution. The...
Death Star would cost $7.7 octillion per day to operate
Ever since Star Wars fans first laid their eyes on the monstrous Death Star in 1977, we’ve been fascinated with the Empire’s ultimate weapon. Now with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” due out Dec. 16, that...
Anti-radiation underwear, and other gift ideas for techies
NEW YORK — The latest technology can make for an easy holiday gift, but when it comes to the ultra-tech-savvy people in your life, finding a cool gadget they don’t already own can be tough.Fear not! From...
Proxima Centauri really does orbit its two bright neighbours
Red dwarf: Proxima Centauri on the right, next to its much brighter companionsDigitized Sky Survey 2/ Davide De Martin/Mahdi Zamani/ESOBy Ken CroswellThey’re a happy family after all. The three closest...
Distant star is roundest object ever observed in nature
Stars are not perfect spheres. While they rotate, they become flat due to the centrifugal force. A team of researchers has now succeeded in measuring the oblateness of a slowly rotating star with unprecedented...
‘We must escape planet Earth’
Exoplanets can be pretty weird places, but do their names have to be so weird, too? Watch and learn how the scientific community determines and categorizes these unique planets. This planet can’t sustain...
Do extremely reddened quasars extinguish star formation?
Galaxies formed and grew billions of years ago by accumulating gas from their surroundings, or colliding and merging with other young galaxies. These early stages of galaxy assembly are believed to be...
Forming star system spits out a third star, validating theoretical models
Two of the telescopes comprising ALMA (the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) in Chile.Iztok Bončina/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) reader comments 0 Share this story If you look at one of the points...
Search for ‘alien megastructure’ gets rebooted
Alien megastructure mystery. A RUSSIAN billionaire has joined forces with a space program at a US university in a bid to better understand the strange behaviour of a star 1500 light years away which has...
Oldest known planet-forming disk discovered
A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk -- a primordial...
Apple lawsuit: Nearly 90% of 'genuine' Apple products we bought on Amazon are fakes
Apple says it has been buying Apple products labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them to be counterfeit. The revelation comes in a federal lawsuit filed by Apple against...
Eta Carinae: VLT Interferometer captures raging winds in famous massive stellar system
Astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system,...
Toddler stars’ baby fat kicks out almost all their exoplanets
Model system: tweaking Kepler-11’s spin and tilt on a computer caused an exoplanet exodusTim Pyle/NASABy Rebecca BoyleSingle-exoplanet systems may be the fault of their stars. Exoplanets are abundant...
Lucasfilm unleashes legal Death Star on lightsaber schools
EnlargeJohn Lamparski via Getty Images reader comments 4 Share this story Lucasfilm, the maker of the Star Wars movies, is unleashing its legal Death Star on the California owner of schools that teach...
Proxima b’s hyperactive star is more sun-like than thought
What Proxima Centauri might be doing on the insideNASA/CXC/M.WeissBy Rebecca BoyleIn August, we learned that the nearest star to our solar system is likely to have a rocky, Earth-sized planet orbiting...
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fleshed out in new trailer
EnlargeLucasfilmThe following post contains spoilers from the trailer. You have been warned! reader comments 1 Share this story With just two months to go before it hits our local multiplex, we got our...
Proxima Centauri might be more sunlike than we thought
In August astronomers announced that the nearby star Proxima Centauri hosts an Earth-sized planet (called Proxima b) in its habitable zone. At first glance, Proxima Centauri seems nothing like our Sun....
Chaos in cosmos: System of two stars with three planet-forming discs of gas
A star with a ring of planets orbiting around it -- that is the picture we know from our own solar system and from many of the thousands of exoplanets observed in recent years. But now researchers have...
Hubble detects giant 'cannonballs' shooting from star
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected superhot blobs of gas, each twice as massive as the planet Mars, being ejected near a dying star. The plasma balls are zooming so fast through space it would...
Failed hunt for Proxima b’s star transit leaves us in the dark
We must wait for more detailsESO/M. KornmesserBy Leah CraneThe hunt to learn more about our nearest exoplanet, the Earth-like Proxima b, has come up empty-handed. If the planet ever passes between its...
"Alien megastructure" star sparks more mystery
It has confused scientists for the past several years – a faraway star spotted by NASA’s Kepler space telescope that appeared to be dimming regularly. No one could quite figure out what caused these dimming...
Google makes it easier to share photos, notes and more with family members
Because constantly swapping passwords and usernames can be a pain, (if not also a security risk) Google is adding new ways for families to share with each other while still staying logged-on to their...
DeepMind’s AI beats world’s best Go player in latest face-off
Ke Jie deep in concentration during the first matchWU HONG/EPA/REX/ShutterstockBy Matt ReynoldsAlphaGo is at it again. Google DeepMind’s Go-playing AI has defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one player,...
Google's AlphaGo A.I. beats world's number one in ancient game of Go
This week's games between AlphaGo and Ke are being live streamed by Google online, but Chinese censors already block access to Google and its services, such as Gmail and YouTube, in the country. Chinese...
All 38 major Google IO announcements ranked
Google IO is the company’s chance to express its bragging rights, and it did that at the start of its keynote by telling one and all that Android is now up to 2 billion active users.What’s more, seven...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark