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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Image of M87 galaxy showing a bright yellowish central core with a jet of blue plasma extending outward into space. The background is filled with faint stars and a hazy, brownish hue
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essay

History of science

His radiant formula

Stephen Hawking’s greatest legacy – a simple little equation now 50 years old – revealed a shocking aspect of black holes

Roger Highfield

Artistic depiction of a black hole with light bending around its event horizon. A bright swirl of light contrasts against the dark background, illustrating the gravitational pull and bending of light.
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video

Physics

The abyss at the edge of human understanding – a voyage into a black hole

4 minutes

An image shows the earth horizon at night seen from space. The lights of a city glow beneath the vast starry night of space
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essay

Astronomy

Alien life is no joke

Not long ago the search for extraterrestrials was considered laughable nonsense. Today, it’s serious and scientific

Adam Frank

Futuristic illustration of two astronauts in red spacesuits above a moon-like surface. One astronaut points towards an illuminated city inside a crater.
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video

Astronomy

The history of astronomy is a history of conjuring intelligent life where it isn’t

34 minutes

An elongated, rocky asteroid travelling through space with stars in the background, emitting a faint, translucent tail.
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video

Astronomy

Seven years later, what can we make of our first confirmed interstellar visitor?

59 minutes

Childlike drawing of buildings, house, pyramid, and temple on a curved surface under a starry sky with a radiating sun. Stick figures roam between structures.
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video

Physics

Why the golden age of total solar eclipses is already behind us

5 minutes

Dark, craggy surface of a moon or planet with bright geysers or plumes of light erupting into space from its horizon, against a dark background.
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essay

Astronomy

Panspermia

It’s possible that frozen worlds with subterranean oceans are incubators of organic life. But then how did life get here?

Balazs Bradak

Silhouetted figures stand beside a car looking up at a starry night sky
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essay

Space exploration

Uncertain contact

The detection of alien life won’t be obvious. It’ll be partial and inconclusive: a perfect task for the scientific method

Jaime Green

A blue planet with visible ice formations and rings, resembling a view of an icy gas giant from space.
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video

Space exploration

In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?

5 minutes

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essay

Space exploration

Cosmic vision

By showing us a new cosmos, the discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope will ripple through our moral universe

Claire Isabel Webb

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essay

Space exploration

There’s no planet B

The scientific evidence is clear: the only celestial body that can support us is the one we evolved with. Here’s why

Arwen E Nicholson & Raphaëlle D Haywood

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video

History of science

Bat-people on the Moon – what a famed 1835 hoax reveals about misinformation today

8 minutes

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essay

Astronomy

Thriving on Mars

Dust storms, long distances and freezing temperatures make living on Mars magnificently challenging. How will we do it?

Simon Morden

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essay

History of science

Inventing heaven

For hundreds of years, Christians knew exactly where heaven was: above us and above the stars. Then came the new cosmologists

Stephen Case

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video

History of science

How one of history’s most beautiful books was used to find fate in the cosmos

6 minutes

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essay

Space exploration

Telescopes on the Moon

Our future in space relies on settling the Moon and using it as a base to probe the deepest questions in the cosmos

Joseph Silk

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video

Astronomy

Raw solar-storm footage is the punk-rock antidote to sleek James Webb imagery

6 minutes

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video

Astronomy

From zero to 5,000 – music and visuals express 30 years of exoplanet discoveries

1 minute

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video

Knowledge

A poet’s ode to the Hubble Telescope – and to her father, who helped to build it

2 minutes

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video

Cosmology

Revisiting ‘Powers of Ten’ – what we’ve learned about the Universe since 1977

7 minutes

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video

Physics

Models capture the world-warping physics of what happens when stars meet black holes

2 minutes

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essay

Cosmology

The search for alien tech

There’s a new plan to find extraterrestrial civilisations by the way they live. But if we can see them, can they see us?

Corey S Powell

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video

Astronomy

Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor

16 minutes

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video

Astronomy

Meet the citizen scientist who changed how we see the Sun, and science itself

5 minutes