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Here, an alien crew member, Saru on Star Trek: Discovery. We often rely on science fiction to guide our expectations of alien life. We can hope lessons about accepting beings very different from yourself can be extracted by the series end. (Courtesy of CBS Studios)

Star Trek discovery of alien life veers away from likely reality

Star Trek: Discovery explores our corner of the block -- just a fraction of the galaxy. Some stars are better candidates for intelligent alien life, and it may not be anything like we imagine.
The new discovery: The C-shaped “wide angle tail galaxy” (pink) surrounded by the galaxies of the Matorny-Terentev cluster (white). Julie Banfield

How citizen scientists discovered a giant cluster of galaxies

The find by citizen scientists of at least 40 galaxies in a cluster more than a billion light years away is the astronomical equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) was instrumental in determining the origin of cosmic rays. HESS

Supermassive black holes could be a source of mysterious cosmic rays

A new study suggests that mysterious high energy cosmic rays might originate from the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Looking for dark matter in the galaxy collisions such as in Abell 2744, dubbed Pandora’s Cluster. X-ray: NASA/CXC/ITA/INAF/J.Merten et al, Lensing: NASA/STScI; NAOJ/Subaru; ESO/VLT, Optical: NASA/STScI/R.Dupke

Shedding new light on the search for the ‘invisible’ dark matter

Scientists know so much about dark matter apart from what it is exactly. But are they getting any closer?
Observations of the dusty cloud G2 as it approaches and then swings around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. ESO/A. Eckart

Young star theory forged from a near miss with a giant black hole

The best observations yet of a mysterious gas cloud that was heading for the black hole at the hear of our Milky Way reveal it may have more stellar origins.
Gemini North observatory, on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, shoots a laser beam into the night sky to create an ‘artificial star’, part of a process that helps astronomers remove blurring from any images of galaxies. Gemini Observatory and Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

Laser helps find supermassive black hole in a small galaxy

A supermassive black hole has been found in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy – the smallest galaxy known to contain such a massive black hole. This finding, published today in Nature, suggests that supermassive…

Faster spinning galaxies are flat, not fat

The speed at which spiral galaxies spin determine whether they are fat and bulging or whether they are shaped like flat discs…

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