Articles by Jesse Emspak

An artist's impression shows two tiny but very dense neutron stars at the point at which they merge and explode as a kilonova.

What the Neutron Star Collision Means for Dark Matter

The latest LIGO observations rekindle a fiery debate over how gravity works: Does the universe include dark matter, or doesn’t it?

Backyard Worlds is using the power of citizen scientists to search for the elusive Planet 9.

The Universe Needs You: To Help in the Hunt for Planet 9

How one citizen science endeavor is using the Internet to democratize the search for distant worlds

In this artist's conception, a carbon planet orbits a sunlike star in the early universe.

Think Big

Diamond Planets Might Have Hosted Earliest Life

A new study pushes back the earliest date that extraterrestrial life might, maybe, could appear; if so, it'd be on planets made of diamond

An artist’s conception of the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft in orbit at Lagrange Point 1.

Life in the Cosmos

A Spacecraft Just Measured Movement Less Than the Width of an Atom

The successful results pave the way for a future mission that could detect low-frequency gravity waves

A woman sits amid the ruins of the Great Stone Church, which collapsed in an 1812 earthquake, at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Journey to the Center of Earth

San Andreas May Have Had Help Triggering a Historic Earthquake

New evidence about a devastating quake in 1812 hints that the San Jacinto fault may be a bigger seismic risk than anyone thought

When CO2 rises, wet and wild planets may lose their oceans to space.

New Research

Looking for Life Beyond Earth? Watch Out for Steam Bath Planets

Simulations show that water and CO2 can be a surprisingly deadly combo on some unfortunate worlds

This cuneiform tablet may re-write the history of math and astronomy.

New Research

Babylonians Were Using Geometry Centuries Earlier Than Thought

Ancient astronomers were tracking planets using math believed to have first appeared in 14th-century Europe

An illustration shows the record-breaking supernova ASASSN-15lh as it would appear from an exoplanet about 10,000 light-years away.

Think Big

Astronomers Have Found the Brightest Supernova Yet

The powerful blast is so weird that it could be a whole new kind of star explosion

An artist's illustration of a planet-like body in the Kuiper belt.

New Research

A Brief History of the Hunt for Planet X

The flutter over a possible new world beyond Neptune highlights the long, legitimate search for planets in the solar system's fringe

A bomb blast engulfs a mountainside near the town of Barg-e Matal in Afghanistan.

New Research

Shock Waves May Create Dangerous Bubbles in the Brain

Lab experiments show how people who survive explosions may still carry cellular damage that can cause psychological problems

These galaxies are smiling at you thanks to general relativity.

Think Big

Seven Simple Ways We Know Einstein Was Right (For Now)

For the past 100 years, these experiments have offered continued evidence that general relativity is our best description of gravity

A person stands in front of a fault in Utah. Better understanding how rocks behave under stress and along faults like this could help geologists more accurately identify places at risk of earthquakes.

Big Quakes Can Trigger Other Shakes Thousands of Miles Away

According to new research, when a big one strikes, more than aftershocks can follow

Shaving was something of a job on all the Apollo missions because in Zero-G, water doesn't just run off the face.

New Photos From Apollo Mission Depict the Mundane Daily Tasks of Astronauts at Work

From the original film rolls that the astronauts took into space, a work-a-day routine emerges of Apollo mission voyages

An illustration of the dengue virus, which is transmitted by mosquito bites.

A Single Protein Is the Root of Dengue's Virulence

But researchers who found the culprit say it could be a clue in developing a vaccine for the mosquito-borne virus

Does this look infected?

Life May Have Spread Through the Galaxy Like a Plague

If alien life is distributed in a pattern that mirrors epidemics, it could be strong support for the theory of panspermia

This layered metal sphere is a wormhole for magnets.

Innovative Spirit Health Care

Physicists Built a Wormhole for Magnets

The metal sphere lets one magnetic field pass through another undetected, which could lead to improvements in medical imaging

Greetings, 51 Eridani b!

How, and Why, Do Astronomers Take Pictures of Exoplanets?

The latest snapshot of a Jupiter-like world hints at the potential for seeing more diverse planets in direct images

Tick-tock goes the clock.

New Research

Can Sound Explain a 350-Year-Old Clock Mystery?

Lab experiments suggest that a strange synchronization of pendulum clocks observed in the 1600s can be chalked up to acoustic energy

Hello, Pluto! We <3 you, too.

New Research

Pluto Probe Finds Surprises Ahead of Its Close Encounter

From dark poles to weird "whales", New Horizons is giving us a taste of the historic science we can expect from its visit to Pluto

This online article is brought to you by fiber optic cables.

New Research

"Combing" Through Light May Give Us Faster, More Powerful Internet

A lab experiment used a device called a frequency comb to send fiber optic data a record-breaking distance with no signal loss

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