Double star flips planet-forming disk into pole position

Our sun’s planets orbit in a plane extending from the sun’s equator. Astronomers have found a double-star system whose planet-forming disk has flipped up – perpendicular to what we’d expect – over the poles. What would nature be like on one of these worlds?

Did life on land arrive far earlier than thought?

New clues from fossils from the oldest soils on Earth suggest that multicellular, land-dwelling organisms might have emerged much earlier than we thought.

Giant streaks discovered in Venus’ atmosphere

New observations of Venus’ atmosphere by the Japanese orbiter Akatsuki – combined with supercomputer simulations – have revealed giant symmetrical streaks never seen before.

Video: 15 years of Mars images

ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft began sending back images from its orbit around Mars in January 2004. Take 5 minutes to see some of the coolest images of the mission so far.

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Whales share songs from other oceans

Singing humpback whales from different ocean basins seem to be picking up musical ideas from afar, and incorporating these new phrases and themes into their songs.

Today in science: Finding magnetic south

On January 16, 1909, a team of Antarctic explorers thought they’d found the magnetic south pole. Then, a few years later, they began to have doubts.

Here’s how Titan looks in infrared

Saturn’s largest moon Titan is enveloped in a thick atmosphere, but the infrared camera on the Cassini spacecraft was able to reveal the moon’s myriad of surface features.

Rotating black holes as portals for hyperspace travel

One of the most cherished science fiction scenarios is using a black hole as a portal to another dimension or time or universe. Is it possible? Maybe. But choose carefully. All black holes are not created equal.

A 2nd repeating radio burst from the depths of space

Of the more than 60 Fast Radio Bursts found so far, only one has ever been seen to repeat from the same source … until now.

Oceans warming even faster than thought

A new analysis has found that Earth’s oceans are heating up 40% faster than a United Nations panel estimated 5 years ago.

Citizen scientists discover rare exoplanet

Last week, citizen scientists with Zooniverse’s Exoplanet Exoplorers announced K2-288Bb – a type of exoplanet considered rare so far. The finding might shed new light on how planets form.

Holy cow! Astronomers puzzle over a mysterious blast

Astronomers are arguing over a brief and unusual flash in the night sky from earlier this year. The call it the Cow. One group argues it was a monster black hole shredding a passing star. The other argues it might have been a black hole being born.

Will star Betelgeuse explode?

Yes, it will. The star Betelgeuse will run out of fuel, collapse under its own weight, and then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion. Someday … but probably not soon.