The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis argues that a comet strike caused major changes to climate and human cultures on Earth about 13,000 years ago.
After the 2011 Fukushima disaster, it was Germany, not Japan, that cracked down most severely on nuclear power plants.
And either way, is energy or information conserved? When two things in the Universe that “always” occur meet one another, how do you know which one will win? Gravitational waves, […]
It’s not a question of could they, but have they? Here’s how we’ll find out. It’s no secret that fragments of asteroids, comets, and other spaceborne objects have been found here […]
The novel coronavirus COVID-19, as illustrated here against a backdrop of a DNA molecule, contains only approximately 30,000 base pairs in its entire sequence, yet is capable of infecting and […]
It’s been spectacularly confirmed by observation, but theoretically, it couldn’t have been any other way. If the Sun were to spontaneously cease emitting light, we wouldn’t know about it for about […]
Love to drop F-bombs? Thank the shift to agriculture.
Breakthrough Starshot is moving ahead with an audacious vision for space exploration.
LIGO and Virgo have now detected a total of 11 binary merger events. But exactly 0 were in the Milky Way. Here’s why. One of the most spectacular recent advances in […]
The laws of physics are not time-reversal invariant. Here’s how we know. No matter when, where, or what you are in the Universe, you experience time in only one direction: forwards. […]
We think of ourselves as rational beings, but our cognitive biases often mean our decisions are based on instincts and emotions. Here are five times cognitive biases pushed Americans to advance foreign policies that stood against the country’s best interests.
In the aftermath of everything we’ve learned about what’s in the Universe, we can make much better estimates of how many alien civilizations are out there. In 1961, scientist Frank Drake […]
Gender is burdened by a lot of adjectives these days. It’s non-binary, it’s fluid, it’s ‘over’. According to the American rapper Young Thug, an artist at the helm of hip-hop […]
Are we about to make a breakthrough to go beyond black holes? Here’s what it means if we do! “It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only […]
An eruption from a supervolcano could be catastrophic. Here’s NASA’s plan and how sensible it is.
A new genetic test could improve the palm oil industry and reduce deforestation.
Image credit: Io and Jupiter, made with Celestia, via http://fisica.cab.cnea.gov.ar/estadistica/abramson/celestia/gallery/slides/Io-Jupiter.html. If you see a picture of a planet, can you identify which of the eight it is? “Don’t go around […]
Image credit: © 2015 MotorTrend Magazine, via http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1110_mopar_underground_jeep_and_ram_run_wild_at_moab/photo_06.html. How gravity teaches us that the mountains we see extend far underground. “Journalists often ask me when I go to the field, […]
On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the USA. Start planning for it now. “Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see […]
This semester I am teaching a doctoral seminar on the important questions and trends related to media, technology and democracy. In this post, I introduce several major topics and provide […]
This semester, 22 undergraduate and graduate students from a diversity of majors at American University have participated in a new course that I created titled “Science, Environment and the Media.” […]
As I like to say, when it comes to science debates, the public is far more likely to be miserly in reaching a judgment than fully informed. Most citizens are […]