Paul Sutter

Author Archive

  • Oct 14, 2021
    The first black holes to appear in the universe may have formed from the direct collapse of gas. When they collapsed, they released a flood of radiation, including radio waves. A new...
  • Oct 12, 2021
      In the beginning, there was … well, maybe there was no beginning. Perhaps our universe has always existed — and a new theory of quantum gravity reveals...
  • Oct 8, 2021
    The first stars to appear in the universe lived fast and died young. Today, none of them likely remain. But their remnants, the black holes and neutron stars, might still wander...
  • Sep 25, 2021
      Black holes are getting weirder by the day. When scientists first confirmed the behemoths existed back in the 1970s, we thought they were pretty simple, inert...
  • Sep 10, 2021
    Physicists sifting through old particle accelerator data have found evidence of a highly-elusive, never-before-seen process: a so-called triangle singularity.  First envisioned...
  • Sep 3, 2021
    Dark matter — the mysterious substance that exerts gravity but doesn't interact with light — might be made of tiny black holes permeating the universe. And according to a...
  • Aug 25, 2021
    Interested in scooting through a wormhole, the ultimate cheat-code through space and time? Perhaps you'd like to hop from star system to star system across the universe without...
  • Aug 24, 2021
    There's gold in them thar asteroids! Literally — asteroids have more than enough gold, plus other metals, to provide a few lifetimes' worth of fortunes. But there are plenty of...
  • Aug 20, 2021
    NASA’s Juno probe, the supremely awesome Jupiter orbiter, recently captured some stunning images of Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter, during the orbiter’s 34th trip...
  • Jul 20, 2021
    Imagine a universe where you could point a spaceship in one direction and eventually return to where you started. If our universe were a finite donut, then such movements would be...
  • Jul 19, 2021
    Are black holes as simple as they appear, or is there more to their story?  Theories that attempt to resolve the so-called black hole information paradox predict that black...
  • Jul 18, 2021
    We find examples of fractals everywhere in nature. Tree branches, snowflakes, river deltas, cloud formations, and more. So it’s natural to ask the ultimate question: is the...
  • Jul 9, 2021
    Dark matter could be even weirder than anyone thought, say cosmologists who are suggesting this mysterious substance that accounts for more than 80% of the universe's mass could...
  • Jun 17, 2021
    Black holes flood the Universe. The nearest one is a mere 1,500 lightyears away. A giant one, Sagittarius A*, sits in the center of the Milky Way about 25,000 lightyears away. While...
  • May 23, 2021
    Astronomers have known that galaxies across the universe are behaving badly. Some are spinning too fast, while others are just way too hot and still others glommed into super...
  • May 7, 2021
    For decades, cosmologists have wondered if the large-scale structure of the universe is a fractal — that is, if it looks the same no matter how large the scale. After...
  • Mar 17, 2021
      Some astronomers believe there is a massive planet, far beyond the orbit of Neptune, orbiting the sun — but after years of searching, scientists have not found...
  • Mar 14, 2021
    It's the ultimate dream of modern physics, to achieve what generations of scientists have failed to do for 100 years: concoct a quantum theory of gravity.  But any theory will...
  • Mar 11, 2021
    It’s just like a normal solar system…except completely backwards. When solar systems form, both the parent star and any planets come from the same molecular cloud. As...
  • Mar 5, 2021
      Astrophysicists have an idea that could help to solve two mysteries: the reason for the bizarre abundance of super-high-energy radiation shooting from the center of...
  • Feb 11, 2021
    In the hunt for life outside the Earth, astronomers are keen to spot exoplanets in the "habitable zone," — the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a...
  • Feb 9, 2021
    A weird, super-powerful particle that's not truly a particle could have dominated the universe when it was just a second old, releasing a flood of ripples that permeated all of...
  • Jan 24, 2021
    The universe may be filled with "mirror" particles — and these otherwise-undetectable particles could be shrinking the densest stars in the universe, turning them into black...
  • Jan 14, 2021
    Physicists have long assumed that the universe is pretty much the same in any direction, and now they've found a new way to test that hypothesis: by examining the shadow of a black...
  • Jan 12, 2021
    Supersymmetry is the idea that the fundamental particles of nature are connected through a deep relationship. This theory predicts the existence of brand-new particles in the world's...
  • Jan 10, 2021
    Astronomers don't understand the origins of the biggest black holes in the universe. These black holes appear so early in the cosmological record that we might have to invoke new...
  • Jan 5, 2021
    We don't know what's behind dark energy, the name we give to the current era of accelerated expansion in the universe. Many theorists favor some sort of quantum field as the driver...