Tiny laser-propelled spaceships could travel to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond

Miniature spaceships the size of cellphones could fly across the solar system using sails propelled by lasers, which would allow the tiny spacecraft to reach much faster speeds — and, potentially, much more distant destinations — than conventionally powered rockets, a new study finds. Current spacecraft usually take years to make trips within the solar … Read more

U.S. Project Reaches Major Milestone toward Practical Fusion Power

Nuclear fusion could potentially provide abundant, safe energy without the significant production of greenhouse gas emissions or nuclear waste. But it has remained frustratingly elusive as a practical technology for decades. An important milestone toward that goal has now been passed: a fusion reaction that derives most of its heat from its nuclear reactions themselves … Read more

Webb Telescope Reaches Its Final Destination Far from Earth

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has just reached its final destination—around a gravitationally special spot in space known as the second Lagrange point, or L2. The US$10-billion observatory could spend 20 or more years there, gathering unprecedented insights about the Universe as it stares into deep space. Webb, which is the most complex telescope ever … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope Reaches Its Destination in Huge Mission Milestone

The James Webb Space Telescope has fired its thrusters and reached its orbital destination around a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from our planet, NASA said Monday, a key milestone on its mission to study cosmic history.   At around 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1900 GMT), the observatory fired its thrusters for 5 minutes … Read more

Ash from Tonga eruption reaches record altitude but climate cooling unlikely

The volcanic eruption that destroyed a small island in Polynesia on Saturday (Jan. 15) injected a huge amount of ash into a record altitude but won’t cause any disruption to Earth’s climate, experts said. Satellites detected the ash cloud, which has already spread over Australia, at over 24 miles (39 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, Oxford … Read more

ArXiv.org Reaches a Milestone and a Reckoning

What started in 1989 as an e-mail list for a few dozen string theorists has now grown to a collection of more than two million papers—and the central hub for physicists, astronomers, computer scientists, mathematicians and other researchers. On January 3 the preprint server arXiv.org crossed the milestone with a numerical analysis paper entitled “Affine … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope reaches launch pad for Christmas liftoff

Image 1 of 3 An Ariane 5 rocket carrying the James Webb Space Telescope rolled out to the launch pad at Kourou, French Guiana, on Dec. 23, 2021. (Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA) Image 2 of 3 An Ariane 5 rocket carrying the James Webb Space Telescope rolled out to the launch pad at Kourou, French … Read more