Awarding the Nobel prize for physics to something related to gravitational waves was a matter of when—not if. Still, one could have argued it was too early: gravitational waves were not a surprise discovery.
When we think of evolution, we think natural selection, survival of the fittest. But that’s not all. Primal forces lurk work in the background. When selection disappears, they finally break free.
20 years after it launched, the NASA spacecraft Cassini ends its mission today. Its 13 years in orbit culminate in one last mission: to dive into the planet’s atmosphere, while still measuring and transmitting data.
If you grab a piece of spaghetti and bend it further and further, it will eventually break. It won’t just break in two, though: most likely it will break in three or more pieces. What sorcery is this?
Don’t believe me? Be a scientist: try it yourself!
Mauna Kea is an enormous, exinct volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, and one of the best places on Earth to do astronomy (if you ask them, the best one). In fact, the summit of the mountain hosts one of the world’s most renowned observatories. What makes it so special, other than that it looks like this?
Recently I’ve been on an amazing trip to Hawaii. I was planning to write about the observatories there. Then I saw this.
It’s solidified lava! So… yeah… gotta talk about that!