The odd orbital arrangements of objects beyond Neptune have led scientists to speculate about the existence of a so-called Planet Nine—a hypothetical large planet in the outer reaches of the Solar System. New research suggests a planet isn’t required to achieve the anomalous orbits, and that a massive ring of debris…
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Such is the philosophy of Jose Maria Madiedo, an astronomer at the University of Huelva in Spain, who, for over 10 years, has tried to capture a meteorite hitting the Moon during a lunar eclipse. Yesterday, during the so-called “Super Blood Wolf Blood Moon,” it finally…
A newly described freshwater shark from the Cretaceous Period had teeth that resembled the iconic Galaga video game spacefighter. Remarkably, the remains of this shark were found in the same pile of debris that contained Sue the T. rex—the largest and most complete fossil of the species ever found.
The scientist responsible for creating the world’s first genetically modified babies violated government bans and committed fraud, according to Chinese investigators. He Jiankui—and those who helped him—will reportedly now be handed over to security authorities and “severely dealt with.”
A classroom chart bearing an early version of the periodic table of elements has been discovered in a University of St. Andrews chemistry lab. Dating back to the 1880s, the chart is thought to be the world’s oldest.
By comparing the age of impact craters on the Moon to those on Earth, researchers say they have discovered a surge in the rate of asteroid strikes starting around 290 million years ago—a finding that runs contrary to scientific convention. And indeed, not everyone is convinced by the evidence.
Tomorrow morning, an Epsilon-4 rocket will blast off from the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center in Japan. Onboard is a satellite capable of generating artificial meteor showers by dropping tiny pellets from orbit. The resulting light show should produce streaks brighter than natural shooting stars—but will anyone even care?
Using computer simulations and a robot, researchers have recreated the likely gait of a 300-million-year-old animal considered to be among the planet’s earliest terrestrial walkers.
China’s miniature biosphere experiment has yielded a sprouting cotton seed, and it’s the first plant to germinate on the Moon—an important first step in creating a viable, self-sustaining lunar colony.
Astronomers using the ALMA telescope have discovered an oddly tilted planet-forming disk within a double binary star system, a configuration that up until this point only existed in theory.
Rapid and erratic movements of Earth’s north magnetic pole have prompted an early update to a model that assists with navigation. The scheduled fix was supposed to happen on January 15, but the U.S. government shutdown has forced an unwelcome delay.
Archaeologists are trying to figure out why so many bodies at a 1,700-year-old site in Suffolk, England, were buried alongside their decapitated heads.
The Moon’s far side near its southern pole is a dead, dim place littered with pits and rocks, as the first panoramic image taken by China’s Change’ 4 lander confirms.
The U.S. government may be in partial shutdown mode, but operations to configure instruments critical to NASA’s InSight mission on Mars are right on schedule—and things are going swimmingly, as the latest mission update attests.
Traces of a rare and expensive blue pigment, called ultramarine, have been detected in the teeth of a woman who died in Germany nearly 1,000 years ago. The discovery suggests women played a more prominent role in the production of manuscripts during the medieval period, and that ultramarine was more available in…
Canadian scientists have detected 13 new fast radio bursts, those mysterious, split-second, high-energy pulses that reach us from unknown origins billions of light-years away. Intriguingly, one of these newly documented bursts is a repeater, becoming just the second-known repeating fast radio burst among the 60…
The skeletal remains of three ancient dogs found buried in Illinois now represent the earliest evidence for the presence of domesticated dogs in the Americas. It’s also the oldest known intentional burial of individual canines in the global archaeological record.
In 1835, Charles Darwin documented the presence of iguanas on Santiago island, the largest in the Galapagos archipelago. It probably never dawned on the pioneering naturalist that he would be the last scientist to do so. Invasive species wiped the island clean of iguanas—an ecological void that’s now been filled…
A British geneticist is worried that He Jiankui—the Chinese scientist responsible for the birth of genetically modified human twins—could face the death penalty for corruption and bribery charges.
During his lifetime, Charles Darwin complained of so many different ailments that it’s no small miracle the pioneering evolutionary biologist got any work done. Historians have struggled to understand the exact nature of his illness or illnesses, but new research suggests one potentially obvious malady has been…