Opinion: Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity

At the recent US Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Marsha Blackburn triggered controversy when she asked Jackson to define the word “woman.” After Jackson declined, several Republican congresspeople chimed in with definitions for “woman” that ranged from dubious to shocking, including “the weaker sex,” “someone who has a uterus,” and “X … Read more

Astronomers Announce Discovery of Supermassive Binary Black Holes

Two supermassive black holes orbit one another in a binary system. They are 10 times closer to each other than the black holes in the only other known supermassive binary black hole system. Credit: Caltech / R. Hurt (IPAC) A team of researchers from Purdue University and other institutions has discovered a supermassive[{” attribute=””>black hole … Read more

Biological Science Rejects the Sex Binary, and That’s Good for Humanity

At the recent US Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Marsha Blackburn triggered controversy when she asked Jackson to define the word “woman.” After Jackson declined, several Republican congresspeople chimed in with definitions for “woman” that ranged from dubious to shocking, including “the weaker sex,” “someone who has a uterus,” and “X … Read more

Astronomers discover a rare black widow binary, with the shortest orbit yet

An illustrated view of a black widow pulsar and its stellar companion. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Cruz deWilde. The flashing of a nearby star has drawn MIT astronomers to a new and mysterious system 3,000 light years from Earth. The stellar oddity appears to be a new “black widow binary” – a … Read more

MIT Astronomers Discover Mysterious “Black Widow” Binary System

Animation depicting a black widow pulsar and its small stellar companion. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Cruz deWilde The system, which may have originated near the center of the[{” attribute=””>Milky Way, is orbited by a third stellar companion. The flashing of a nearby star has drawn MIT astronomers to a new and mysterious … Read more

Astronomers Discover Brand-New Type of Star Explosion: The Micronova

A newly discovered type of stellar explosion could help us better understand thermonuclear outbursts on dead stars. The new phenomena are called micronovae, and they take place on the surface of white dwarf stars that are actively slurping down material from a close binary companion. The accumulation of material onto the white dwarf results in … Read more

Animal Biology Is Not Binary

As much as 6 percent of people are intersex, having chromosomes, gonads, and / or genitals that do not fit neatly into a male or female category. For this and other reasons, human biology is not binary. Intersex Animals Intersex conditions are not specific to humans. They occur in a wide variety of animals. In … Read more

Not One, Not Two, But Three Planetary Systems Are Forming Around This Binary Star

Astronomers have spied three whole systems of exoplanets being born around one binary star. SVS 13 is a binary star system 980 light-years away, and the complex structures of dust around it are shedding light on how planetary systems are born in these fascinating environments. Since a large proportion of stars is bound up in … Read more

2 Supermassive Black Holes Are Locked in The Tightest Orbit We’ve Seen Yet

A dance of death is taking place at the heart of a galaxy in the distant Universe. Some 10 billion light-years away, two supermassive black holes are locked in an orbit so tight that they will collide with each other and form one much larger black hole in the relatively short time of just 10,000 … Read more