Dark Matter Remains Missing
March 1, 2017
How long do astronomers get to search for something that has no direct evidence?
Bizarre Bursts in Space
February 28, 2017
Astronomers don't know what they are, or where they come from, but big blasts from space have opened up a new field of research.
Christmas Star Remains Mysterious, But Something Real Happened
December 24, 2016
Theories rise and fall about the nature of the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem, but the fact remains: they saw something, and came on time to see Jesus.
Wishing Upon Star Formation
November 30, 2016
Many astronomy articles have a bad habit of assuming star formation without demonstrating or explaining it.
Radiation, Mistakes, and Assumptions
August 19, 2016
Three news items about atomic radiation should cause us to beware of academic overstatement.
Rearranging Deck Chairs on Sinking Planet Theories
April 27, 2016
Supernovas come in handy as theory rescue devices.
Cosmologists Need New Physics
April 14, 2016
More new observations don't fit current cosmological theory.
Astronomers Deal With Outrageous Phenomena
March 23, 2016
Even for scientists accustomed to big things, some observations seem too outrageous to explain.
Small Thing Make Big Boom
January 18, 2016
The most spectacular supernova ever detected has astrophysicists scratching their heads for a mechanism.
Major Scientific Revolutions Are Still Possible
November 24, 2015
Beware the myth of progress. There's more scientists don't know than what they know.
Entropy in Space Seen at All Scales
October 22, 2015
Entropy at all scales: clearly seen. Creation of order: not so much.
SETI Club Goes Bonkers
September 26, 2015
Flush with new money, the astronomers who support SETI have lost all restraint in their speculations.
Natural Light Shows Dazzle Scientists
July 3, 2015
Here are some news stories from diverse fields of science, related only by the phenomenon of light.
Astronomers Lie about Star Formation
June 20, 2015
A look at the evidence behind the latest claim of the universe's earliest stars shows nothing of the sort. And that's not the biggest whopper.
Cosmic Ruler Flawed
April 13, 2015
Type 1a supernovae, vital to estimates of the size and expansion of the universe, are not uniform. This has cosmic implications.
Double Trouble for Cosmology
January 24, 2015
Two developments are converging to threaten the standard big bang model of the universe's origin.
Blow to Supernova Nucleogenesis Theory
January 20, 2015
There's 100 times less of a radioactive element on the ocean floor than expected.
Of Stars and Significance
September 30, 2014
The farther out we look, the more questions we have. But does secular astronomy ask the right questions?
Of Molecules and Men
September 27, 2014
Atoms and molecules are tiny but can have a big influence on the habitability of planets and astrobiologists' theories about them.
Light Speed Implications Are Staggering
June 27, 2014
A new paper revises the speed of light. This could change everything in the universe.
Major Cosmic Questions Remain Unanswered
April 28, 2013
Some basic ideas about physics and astronomy remain so mysterious, and their explanations so flexible, they may lead some to question whether they should be called "hard sciences."
Astronomy Grab Bag
December 29, 2012
For year's end, here's a clean-out of astronomy articles—from planetary science to cosmology—to motivate further inquiry.
Supernova Dating and Classification Is Not Simple
September 30, 2012
Bang! goes a star. Watch how fast its contents move, and you know the date, right? Watch its light curve, and you know the type, right?
Sun, Moon and Stars in the News
August 17, 2012
What's up in astronomy? Surprises, by heavens.
Astronomers Wrestle with "Endless Mysteries"
June 3, 2012
Some of the biggest questions in the universe remain completely baffling to astronomers, a leading journal admitted.
Observations Upset Models of Stellar Evolution
December 22, 2011
Stellar evolution models go back decades. Ever since the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram came out in 1910 (graphing temperature against luminosity), showing most stars fell on a line called the “main sequence”, astrophysicists have sought to understand the life cycle of stars from birth to death. In general, the story goes, collapsing clouds of gas and dust produce main-sequence stars that burn nuclear fuel till they run out. Depending on their masses, they end up as supernovae, red giants or slowly-cooling cinders. While red dwarfs cool down slowly into the darkness, supernovae and red giants eject mass outward into space . Two new planets found close to a red giant are among new headaches for theorists.