Author Archives: Lee Billings

Better Instruments Give Scientists a New Way to Study the Cosmos

The era of “multimessenger astronomy” has arrived 

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Dead Stars Orbiting Black Holes May Explain Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts

Scientists are peering into the “engines” behind some of the most extreme outbursts in the universe

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Air Force Tracks Final Frontier

General Jay Raymond, Commander of Air Force Space Command, talks about keeping watch over space and cyber.

 

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Where Will NASA Go Next? Saturn’s Moon Titan, or Maybe a Comet

A flying drone to sniff out life on Titan and a spacecraft to return comet samples to Earth are finalists in NASA’s search for its next interplanetary destination

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A Map of Future Exoplanetary Discovery

Most of the alien worlds closest to our own are found around the smallest, dimmest nearby stars

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Alien Probe or Galactic Driftwood? SETI Tunes In to ‘Oumuamua

It’s a long shot, but scientists are about to listen very closely for radio signals from our solar system’s first known interstellar visitor

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What Will NASA’s Biggest-Ever Space Telescope Study First?

To fully utilize the long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope, researchers will have to squeeze a generation of scientific studies into the multibillion-dollar observatory’s short lifetime

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Q&A: Plotting U.S. Space Policy with White House Adviser Scott Pace

The executive director of the National Space Council discusses the Trump administration’s plans to “make America great again”—in space

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Astronomers Spot First-Ever Space Rock from Another Star

As it departs the inner solar system, scientists are racing to study the object before it fades from view

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Astrophysicist Leads a Tour of the "Zoomable Universe"

A conversation with scientist and author Caleb Scharf about the relative scales of the universe, the limits of knowledge and finding significance in life

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Gravitational Wave Astronomers Hit Mother Lode

Spacetime ripples from a stellar cataclysm in a distant galaxy help explain the cosmic origins of gold, and chart the course for a new age of “multi-messenger” astronomy

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Astronomers Are Finally Mapping the “Dark Side” of the Milky Way

Half of our home galaxy is terra incognita. That will soon change

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China’s Huge Investments in Science Are Starting to Pay Off

Seeing a chance to lead, China is deploying clean energy, quantum satellites and genomics

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New Telescope "Gives Back the Sky" to City-Dwellers

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The Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Fully opening this new window on the universe will take decades—even centuries

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Galaxies Far, Far Away Send Us Highest-Energy Cosmic Rays

A new study hints that the most energetic particles ever seen come from far beyond the Milky Way.

 

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Cassini’s "Grand Finale" Will Be a Blaze of Glory

The Cassini orbiter will burn out, but its legacy won’t fade away

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James Webb Space Telescope Surrounded by Rising Floodwaters

Isolated in a giant thermal vacuum chamber, NASA’s $8.6 billion next-generation observatory is riding out the worst of Hurricane Harvey

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"The Farthest" Brings NASA’s Voyager Missions Back to Earth

A new documentary marks the 40th anniversary of humanity’s most audacious interplanetary spacecraft

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The Air out There: Astronomers Aim to Find Atmospheres of Alien Earths

Is our nearest neighboring exoplanet, Proxima b, an "Earth next door," or is it a lifeless rock?

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The Air out There: Astronomers Aim to Find Atmospheres of Alien Earths

Is our nearest neighboring exoplanet, Proxima b, an "Earth next door," or is it a lifeless rock?

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Reaching for the Stars, Breakthrough Sends Smallest-Ever Satellites into Orbit

Despite technical glitches and regulatory hurdles, nanosatellite swarms could someday be the cornerstone for revolutionary interplanetary or even interstellar space-science missions

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Wandering in the Void, Billions of Rogue Planets without a Home

New results suggest free-floating giant planets are less common than previously believed, but hint at vast numbers of smaller castaway worlds

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Juno Delivers Stunning New Views of Great Red Spot

Scientists and the public are dazzled by images from the spacecraft’s close encounter with Jupiter’s largest—and the solar system’s most famous—storm

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LHC Physicists Unveil a Charming New Particle

 The discovery could offer fresh insight into how fundamental forces bind together subatomic particles

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China Shatters "Spooky Action at a Distance" Record, Preps for Quantum Internet

Results from the Micius satellite test quantum entanglement, pointing the way toward hack-proof global communications—and a new space race

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LIGO’s Latest Black-Hole Merger Confirms Einstein, Challenges Astrophysics

New results from the gravitational wave observatory hint that black holes move in mysterious ways

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Who Will Build the World’s First Commercial Space Station?

A start-up aims to add new construction to the International Space Station to prep for a private sector orbital outpost

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An Alternate History of the Atomic Age

Scientist and author Gregory Benford discusses his latest book, The Berlin Project

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How to Make Molecular Movies: Scientist Thomas Allison Explains

The winner of the 2017 Discovery Prize discusses his work watching electrons moving through molecules

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