Alien megastructures? Cosmic thumbprint? What’s behind a James Webb telescope photo that had even astronomers stumped

Peter Tuthill, University of Sydney In July, a puzzling new image of a distant extreme star system surrounded by surreal concentric geometric rungs had even astronomers scratching their heads. The picture, which looks like a kind of “cosmic thumbprint”, came from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s newest flagship observatory. The internet immediately lit up with theories and speculation. Some on the wild fringe even claimed it as evidence for “alien megastructures” of unknown origin. Luckily, our team at the University of Sydney had already been studying this very star, known as WR140, for more than 20 years – so … Continue reading Alien megastructures? Cosmic thumbprint? What’s behind a James Webb telescope photo that had even astronomers stumped

Could we really deflect an asteroid heading for Earth? An expert explains NASA’s latest DART mission

Gail Iles, RMIT University A NASA spacecraft the size of a golf cart has been directed to smash into an asteroid, with the intention of knocking it slightly off course. The test aims to demonstrate our technological readiness in case … Continue reading Could we really deflect an asteroid heading for Earth? An expert explains NASA’s latest DART mission