Two circular maps of the Earth with polar regions in the centers.

Astrophysicists design ‘radically different’ world map

You know the old problem of how to portray the round globe of Earth on a flat map? Now a trio of map experts has worked together to solve this problem. Their new map is 2-sided and round.

Gas streaming from large blue star to oronge disk with vertical jets coming out of it.

Nearby black hole Cyg X-1 more massive than thought

New research suggests that the famous black hole Cygnus X-1 – first black hole ever detected and one of the closest to Earth – is farther away and much more massive than previously believed.

Points of light distorted by black spots with swirls around them.

Swarm of black holes discovered

For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of a throng of black holes crowding near the center of an ancient globular cluster.

Sharks swim below and upside down white plastic bag floating in green water.

Hundreds of fish species, including many we eat, are consuming plastic

As more and more plastic trash permeates the oceans, microplastics are making their way into fish and shellfish, and potentially into humans.

Different shapes of pills with a heart-shape at center.

Why love really is a drug

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love. Or at least it can feel that way. On this Valentine’s Day 2021, watch a video about certain chemicals – including dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin – responsible for making you feel good around that certain someone.

A man and woman kiss beneath a full moon.

Science explains why we kiss

Why does kissing feel good? Watch this video to learn why humans are drawn to puckering up.

Black-and-white photo of skiers breaking snow, with their skis stashed upright behind them.

Is the Dyatlov Pass incident solved?

The Dyatlov Pass incident has intrigued people for generations, but a new theory pointing to a slab avalanche as the culprit does a thorough job of explaining how the 9 Russian trekkers died. A new video and more here.

Today in science: A spacecraft obliterated a sundog

On February 11, 2010, a solar observatory launched into space ripped apart a sundog and created a new ice halo that amazed scientists.

Small bird with yellow on top of its head on a partly-eaten yellow apple.

Great Backyard Bird Count begins February 12

Show your love for birds by joining the 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count. It’s free and easy to participate in this 4-day global event. Find out how here.

A big A, transforming to form a human shadow on a stark, moonlike surface.

NASA’s moon program – Artemis – boosted at White House press briefing

During a White House press briefing on February 4, 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the Biden administration’s support fo NASA’s Artemis program, whose long-term goal is to send the next man and first woman to the moon by 2024.

Panda sliding down a snowy hill on its back.

Watch giant pandas frolic in the snow

Watch giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian sliding and rolling around in snow in their habitat at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington in this video.

A burrow-like structure in rock, with featherlike markings annotated.

A giant undersea sand worm’s fossilized lair

In 20-million-=year-old rock off the coast of Taiwan, researchers have discovered what they think is the fossilized burrow of a giant, predatory sand worm.

Hear the strange music of distant planetary system TOI-178

In the animation in this post, the rhythmic movement of newly discovered planets around the star TOI-178 is represented through a musical harmony, created by attributing a note (in the pentatonic scale) to each of the planets. Hear the music of these planets.

A diagram showing the Earth and sun, and the 5 Lagrange points.

China’s Chang’e 5 moon craft on a new mission: the sun

China’s Chang’e 5 moon mission successfully returned moon rocks to Earth in December 2020 for the first time in 45 years. It’s now headed toward an Earth-sun Lagrange point, with the goal of making sun observations.

2020 tied for warmest year on record

2020 was Earth’s hottest year in the 140-year record, effectively tying 2016, the previous record-holder.

Is a solar flare the same thing as a CME?

Solar Cycle 25 is here, and that means – in the years ahead – more solar flares and more coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. People sometimes use the words interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. Here’s the difference.

Watch a Saturn moon ballet

A new spin on the Nutcracker Suite, featuring the moons of Saturn.

2020 Arctic Report Card: Sea ice loss, extreme wildfires

NOAA’s 2020 Arctic Report Card describes a region that is warming even more rapidly than scientists expected.

New Milky Way family tree reveals a chaotic history

Scientists in Germany have created a new family tree of our Milky Way galaxy, showing how it has grown over billions of years from chaotic mergers with smaller galaxies.

Watch: 25 years of the sun

This video, merging more than 2 decades of footage from SOHO cameras, captures thousands of sunspots, flares, and coronal mass ejections breaking out from the sun.