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It’s a bird… It’s a plane… No, it’s an object from another solar system! Astronomers have been scrambling to identify a mysterious object passing through our solar system at a speed of about 160,000 km/h. This NASA file image shows a simulation of asteroids passing the earth. (Handout)

How scientists discovered our first interstellar mystery visitor

Astronomers have detected what is believed to be the first interstellar object ever seen passing through our solar system.
Not yet, but soon … we’re getting closer to sending people to Mars. Samantha T./Flickr

Near Earth and far away, it’s been an exciting year in space

It was an exciting year in space exploration, with mind-blowing triumphs and heart-breaking failures. On Earth, new rockets and spacecraft were tested by space agencies and commercial ventures. SpaceX…
A new America? Warner Bros. Pictures

Interstellar is a dangerous fantasy of US colonialism

Interstellar has been praised for its attempt to make the “hard science” of astrophysics both accessible and exciting to a popular audience. Through cutting-edge special effects, it takes audiences on…
Matthew McConaughey embodies the heroic scientist in Interstellar. Paramount

Scientists as Hollywood heroes

Interstellar’s protagonists spend a significant portion of the movie’s 169-minute running time giving mini-lectures – sometimes with props and a little whiteboard – on theoretical physics. The characters…
Black holes aren’t black. Warner Bros.

Interstellar gives a spectacular view of hard science

Note: this article has spoilers. In Interstellar’s near-ish future, our climate has failed catastrophically, crops die in vast blights and America is a barely-habitable dustbowl. Little education beyond…

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