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

AI can reliably spot molecules on exoplanets – and might one day even discover new laws of physics

Kai Hou (Gordon) Yip, UCL and Quentin Changeat, UCL Do you know what the Earth’s atmosphere is made of? You’d probably remember it’s oxygen, and maybe nitrogen. And with a little help from Google you can easily reach a more … Continue reading AI can reliably spot molecules on exoplanets – and might one day even discover new laws of physics