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Why You Should Thank An Astronomer For Preventing Blindness

We are, as Carl Sagan famously said, made of star stuff — and now, your doctor may use a technology designed for studying the stars to examine the inner workings of your eyes. Here’s how it works — and could one day save you from blindness.

How This Revolutionary Industrial Glass Made Its Way Into Your Kitchen

You might not know it by name, but chances are you have a Pyrex dish in your kitchen right now — most Americans probably do. A fascinating history over at Collectors Weekly traces the ubiquitous supermaterial as part of an exhibition which opened this week at the Corning Museum of Glass.

World's Largest Telescope Begins Construction 

After nearly a decade of planning, construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope is finally underway. And boy, does it look cool. Perched high in the mountains of northern Chile, the GMT — whose primary optics consist of seven separate 8.4m diameter mirrors — will proudly claim the title of the largest optical scope ever built.

How Humanity's Planet Hunters Will Find Earth 2.0

Twenty years ago, discovering another Earth sounded like a science fictional dream. But within a generation, astronomers now believe we might do just that.

The Pillars Of Creation Will Disappear In A Cosmic Blink

One way or another, the Pillars of Creation are toast. Based on new observations at the European Southern Observatory, these awe-inspiring structures have another three million years before their ghostly image fizzles away into cosmic nothingness.

Six Busy Days (And Nights) With Some Of The World's Largest Telescopes 

Night falls in the Atacama Desert, but the day is far from over. In this wonderful little timelapse, sent along to us by the photographer Enrico Sacchetti, we get a sense for the constant work being done at the European Southern Observatory.

This Telescope Is Shooting A Laser Right At The ISS

Who gave this telescope a lightsaber? Just kidding. This is, of course, the ESA’s Optical Ground Station telescope in Tenerife — in the process of laser tagging the ISS to establish a data connection.

Here Are Two Galaxies With Supermassive Black Hole Hearts Colliding

Hey there, human, want to feel some awe? Look at this newly released NASA image set of two galaxies, each with a supermassive black hole at its heart, colliding in a violent spiral of star stuff. Space is awesome, and thanks to improved telescope technology, we’re seeing more and more of it every day.

Monster Machines: NASA's New Recoverable Telescope Will Float Above The Clouds By Balloon

Both terrestrial telescopes and their orbital counterparts have some pretty significant limitations — ground based observatories must deal with the obscuring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere and space telescopes are incredibly expensive to launch. But NASA’s newest telescope will deliver space-quality observations at a Earth-bound ‘scope price.

The Plan To Make The Moon An Enormous Detector Of Cosmic Rays

About once a century on any given square kilometre of Earth, a cosmic ray hits with mind-boggling intensity. The teeny tiny subatomic particle from space comes careening in with more than 10 million times the energy of particles shot out by the Large Hadron Collider. Where do these ultrahigh energy cosmic rays come from? Astronomers have a plan to find out, using the moon and a massive new radio telescope array.

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