World News

Giant dying star explodes as scientists watch in real time — a first for astronomy
The Astrophysical Journal/Northwestern University

Giant dying star explodes as scientists watch in real time — a first for astronomy

The death of a star is one of the most dramatic and violent events in space — and astronomers had an unprecedented front-row seat to the explosive end of a stellar giant. Ground-based telescopes provided the first real-time look at the death throes of a red supergiant star. While these aren’t the brightest or most…

Russian rocket stage makes uncontrolled entry into Earth’s atmosphere
Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP

Russian rocket stage makes uncontrolled entry into Earth’s atmosphere

An out-of-control Russian rocket stage has likely re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, according to the latest estimate from US Space Command, which has been tracking its descent. The Angara-A5 heavy-lift rocket was launched from the Plesetsk spaceport in Russia’s northwestern Arkhangelsk region on Monday, December 27. The launch was testing a new upper rocket stage, known…

Can we really ‘ride out’ the Omicron wave?
CDC

Can we really ‘ride out’ the Omicron wave?

The United Kingdom is experiencing the fastest growth in the number of Covid-19 cases since the pandemic started. But according to the government, new restrictions, including a lockdown, are off the table — at least for now. “We have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down our country once again,” Prime…

Webb telescope successfully unfurls its tennis court-size sunshield in space
Chris Gunn/NASA

Webb telescope successfully unfurls its tennis court-size sunshield in space

The most powerful space telescope ever built is keeping its cool in space. The James Webb Space Telescope, which launched on Christmas Day, successfully completed the deployment of its 70-foot (21-meter) sunshield on Tuesday. This critical milestone is one of several that must occur for the NASA observatory to function properly in space, and having…

China, US, UK, France and Russia pledge to avoid nuclear war
Thomas Peter/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

China, US, UK, France and Russia pledge to avoid nuclear war

Five of the world’s largest nuclear powers pledged on Monday to work together toward “a world without nuclear weapons” in a rare statement of unity amid rising East-West tensions. “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” said the joint statement, which was issued simultaneously by the United States, Russia, China, the…

Aoife Beary, Berkeley balcony collapse survivor, dies aged 27
Darcy Costello/AP

Aoife Beary, Berkeley balcony collapse survivor, dies aged 27

Aoife Beary, one of the survivors of the 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six people, has died aged 27. Beary was left with life-altering injuries after the fourth-floor balcony of an apartment building in Berkeley, California collapsed and plunged 40 feet to the ground while she and her friends were celebrating her 21st birthday.…

Sudan’s Prime Minister resigns amid violent anti-coup protests that have left at least 57 people dead
AFP/Getty Images

Sudan’s Prime Minister resigns amid violent anti-coup protests that have left at least 57 people dead

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has resigned, according to a video address from Hamdok posted Sunday on the verified YouTube account of the Prime Minister’s office. The announcement came after three protesters were killed by Sudanese security forces during anti-coup demonstrations near the capital Sunday, the civilian-allied Sudanese Central Doctors Committee (SCDC) said. Two of…

World-renowned Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey dies at 77
Sara Stathas/Alamy Stock Photo

World-renowned Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey dies at 77

Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey, who unearthed evidence that helped prove humankind evolved in Africa, died on Sunday at the age of 77, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed in a statement. “I have this afternoon, Sunday 2nd January 2022, received with deep sorrow the sad news of the passing away of Dr. Richard Erskine…

Look up as the Quadrantid meteor shower puts on a show in the new year
NASA

Look up as the Quadrantid meteor shower puts on a show in the new year

The new year kicks off with the Quadrantid meteor shower, which is expected to peak in the overnight hours from Sunday to Monday. The Quadrantids are typically among the strongest meteor showers of the year. Fortunately, a waxing crescent moon phase will practically render the moon invisible overnight, allowing for peak visibility of the meteors.…

This year, NASA will launch a mission to a valuable, unexplored world

This year, NASA will launch a mission to a valuable, unexplored world

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” I carry the optimism of “Back to the Future” with me as each new year begins. This quote rings especially true as I look at the possibilities awaiting us on the horizon. If you thought 2021 was an exciting year for discoveries, buckle up: 2022 is expected to…

Pope Francis calls violence against women an ‘insult to God’ in New Year’s Day homily
Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis calls violence against women an ‘insult to God’ in New Year’s Day homily

Pope Francis has condemned violence against women as an “insult to God” in his New Year’s Day homily. His address to the faithful from the Vatican in Rome during Saturday’s mass focused on Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Francis drew inspiration from her delivering her child in a humble manger. “Mary now finds herself…

Follow the New Year around the world
Ernest Kung/AP

Follow the New Year around the world

People around the world are beginning to wave goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022. The Pacific Island nations of Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati are the first to see the new year — when it is still 5 a.m. on December 31 on the East Coast of the United States and 11 a.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal…

Webb telescope spends ’29 days on the edge’ as it comes to life in space
NASA

Webb telescope spends ’29 days on the edge’ as it comes to life in space

Heading to space was just the beginning for the James Webb Space Telescope. Heralded as NASA’s premier space observatory of the next decade, the telescope launched on Christmas Day — and it still has a ways to go before it’s in orbit and observing the universe. The agency refers to this process as “29 days…

Where there’s a fact, there’s a joke. Here’s how TikTok creators are making people laugh through science and history
Jacob Dixon

Where there’s a fact, there’s a joke. Here’s how TikTok creators are making people laugh through science and history

In a TikTok video with more than 30 million views and 7 million likes, a chipmunk is paying for groceries at the cashier. The rabbit cashier asks, “Paper or plastic?” The chipmunk ominously replies — and repeats, at the rabbit’s confusion, “Mouth.” In the next frame, the groceries (a pile of nuts) and the rabbit’s…