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Astronomers have circled galaxies in this radio image, whose central supermassive black holes have jets that are aligned.  Image via Andrew Russ Tayor

Why are these black hole jets aligned?

The only way for this alignment to exist is if the supermassive black holes in this part of space are all spinning in the same direction.

The face of a trap-jaw spider, a male, aka Chilarchaea quellon. The long chelicerae are highly maneuverable mouth parts, evolved to rapidly snap prey like a mousetrap. Image via Hannah Wood, Smithsonian.

Spiders with super-fast mousetrap mouths

In the forests of South America and New Zealand, trap-jaw spiders have mouths clamp down on their quarry like a mousetrap, at lightning speeds.

Rainbow above a whale in Monterey Bay.  Photo by William Drumm via Oceana

Whale rainbows

Whales are magnificent creatures and … they produce their own rainbows. Photo and video here.

View larger. | Artist's concept of a planet's atmosphere being stripped by its star. Illustration by Peter Devine via Yale University.

Stars strip atmospheres of super-Earths

The planets are 2-10 times as massive as Earth. They orbit near their stars and receive some 650 times the radiation that Earth receives from our sun.


Another wave of bird extinctions in the Americas?

Several bird species are taking their final bows on the global evolutionary stage, and winking out. The situation in northeast Brazil is particularly dire.

Bingham Mine landslide April 10, 1963 via U. Utah

This date in science: Landslide at Bingham Canyon Mine

On April 10, 2013 – three years ago today – an enormous landslide took place at the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

In October 2013, Cassini flew high above Saturn, looking down toward its north pole. It took a series of shots that were then assembled into this amazing mosaic by software engineer Gordan Ugarkovic.

Planet 9 not affecting Cassini at Saturn

“Although we’d love it if Cassini could help detect a new planet, we don’t see any perturbations in our orbit that we cannot explain with our current models,” said Cassini project manager Earl Maize.

The Allen Telescope Array

SETI turns focus to 20,000 red dwarf stars

Astronomers with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence had their reasons for ignoring red dwarf stars in the past. But now that thinking has changed.

Artist’s illustration of Hitomi. Image credit: JAXA, Akihiro Ikeshita

Astronomers await pings from troubled Hitomi

An unknown disaster seems to have befallen the Japanese satellite that launched in February. Why X-ray astronomers are anxious for good news.

View larger. | It's called Mount Sharp, but it's really just a mound on Mars, in the center of the Gale Crater, where the Curiosity rover set down in 2013. Gale Crater, the landing spot of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, has a three-mile-high mound at its center called Mount Sharp. The circle indicates the rover’s landing place. The blue line is its path. New research shows mounds like this may have been carved by wind over billions of years. Image via NASA/JPL.

How to make a mountain on Mars

They’re not mountains in the earthly sense. They’re mile-high mounds, which – a new study says – were carved over billions of years by wind and climate.