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SPACE: new Theories on the Mysterious “Planet Nine”

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We have not one but two new theories for you about the solar system’s long-theorized and mysterious Planet Nine: Does the solar system have a big, dark ninth planet drifting somewhere far beyond the orbit of Neptune? Planet 9 Probably Doesn’t Exist Since 2016, many astronomers have said it’s possible, pointing to evidence for a large gravity source in deep solar space. But a new paper argues that this gravity source is nothing more than a statistical mirage, the consequence of where in the night sky astronomers point their telescopes. The first physical(CK) hint of this hypothetical Planet Nine was … Read more

What If Humans Went Extinct?

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Deep within Guatemala’s rainforest sits one of the most famous remnants of the Maya civilization: a roughly 2,000-year-old citadel turned to ruins called Tikal. When Alan Weisman hiked through the surrounding region, he discovered something fascinating along the way: “You’re walking through this really dense rainforest, and you’re walking over hills,” said Weisman, author and journalist. “And the archaeologists are explaining to you that what you’re really walking over are pyramids and cities that haven’t been excavated.” In other words, we know about sites like Tikal because humans have gone to great efforts to dig up and restore their remains. … Read more

Why Aren’t We Finding Alien Life?

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If we discovered evidence of alien life, would we even realize it? Life on other planets could be so different from what we’re used to that we might not recognize any biological signatures that it produces. Recent years have seen changes to our theories about what counts as a biosignature and which planets might be habitable, and further turnarounds are inevitable. But the best we can really do is interpret the data we have with our current best theory, not with some future idea we haven’t had yet. This is a big issue for those involved in the search for … Read more

SPACE: Are We Wrong About Black Holes?

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If you were to dive into a black hole (something we would not recommend), you”d likely find a singularity, or an infinitely small and dense point, at the center. Or that”s what physicists have always thought. But now a pair of scientists suggests that some black holes may not be black holes at all. Instead, they may be weird objects chock-full of dark energy — the mysterious force thought to be pushing at the bounds of the universe, causing it to expand at an ever-increasing rate. “If what we thought were black holes are actually objects without singularities, then the … Read more

SPACE: Why Haven’t We Found Aliens Yet? Scientists Have Some Theories

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One night about 60 years ago, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up into the sky and asked, “Where is everybody?” He was talking about aliens. Today, scientists know that there are millions, perhaps billions of planets in the universe that could sustain life. So, in the long history of everything, why hasn’t any of this life made it far enough into space to shake hands (or claws … or tentacles) with humans? It could be that the universe is just too big to traverse. It could be that the aliens are deliberately ignoring us. It could even be that every growing … Read more