Cosmos on Nautilus: The Crisis of the Multiverse

If the universe, like a box of gas, can exist in only a finite number of available states, theory predicts that we are Boltzmann brains, which conflicts with observations, not to mention common sense. If, on the contrary, the universe has an infinite number of available states, then our usual statistical techniques are not predictive, [...]

How Life Could Continue to Evolve – Issue 88: Love & Sex – Nautilus

... the ultimate currency of life in the universe may be life itself: The marvelous genetic surprises that biological and technological Darwinian experimentation can come up with given enough diversity of circumstances and time. Perhaps, in the end, our galaxy, and even our universe, is simply the test tube for a vast chemical computation exploring [...]

The Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean • Earth.com

Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut view of the Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. On the western side of the islands, winds were pushing low-lying clouds against the shore. At the same time, ship wave clouds appear rippling over  smaller outlying islands.  In the bottom if the image, [...]

Heavy metal may rain from the skies of planet WASP 76b | Science News

On one distant world, “heavy metal” could be a weather forecast. Telescope observations indicate that an exoplanet nearly 400 light-years away has iron rain. The planet, dubbed WASP 76b, is an extreme kind of exoplanet known as an ultrahot gas giant (SN: 7/30/19). These worlds “are complete oddballs,” says astronomer David Ehrenreich of the University [...]

Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Was Made by a Bra Manufacturer | History | Smithsonian Magazine

For the suit’s creator, the International Latex Corporation in Dover, Delaware, the toughest challenge was to contain the pressure necessary to support life (about 3.75 pounds per square inch of pure oxygen), while maintaining enough flexibility to afford freedom of motion. A division of the company that manufactured Playtex bras and girdles, ILC had engineers [...]

We’re Better Equipped to Find Extraterrestrial Life Now Than Ever Before | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

... however small the probability of seeing a signal from E.T. is, those chances are soon going to be a lot better than they have been in the past. Sure, after decades of listening, there is still no message. But with more data to sift through, and new technologies with superior search capabilities, odds of [...]

How an Interstellar Starship Could Actually Explore Alpha Centauri

Last year, Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner hatched an ambitious plan to send a tiny probe to the Alpha Centauri star system. Travelling at 20 percent the speed of light, the researchers weren’t entirely sure how the probe was supposed to stop once it arrived at its destination, or whether it would even [...]

String Theory | Number Theory | What Is String Theory

Scientists have found what they say is a link between complex number theory and string theory: a specific kind of elliptic curve from a torus. ... specifically defined elliptic curves embody the overlapping space between number theory and superstring theory in particular, other geometric shapes with specific qualities could fit the same logic gateway shared [...]

Earth’s Got a New, Tiny Moon | RealClearScience

The Minor Planet Centre has just announced that the Earth has been orbited by a second moon for the past three years or so. But while excitement about the discovery is growing, it is important to keep in mind that this moon isn’t as impressive as our main satellite. It is extremely faint – it [...]

Wormholes Reveal a Way to Manipulate Black Hole Information in the Lab | Quanta Magazine

As experimental proposals go, this one certainly doesn’t lack ambition. First, take a black hole. Now make a second black hole that is quantum entangled with it, which means that anything that happens to one of the black holes will seem to have an effect on the other, regardless of how far apart they are. [...]