Astronomy & Space

Astronomy may well be the oldest science of all, seeking answers to questions such as: "Where did it all come from?" and "Are we alone?" But, today's astronomers are focusing on phenomena our forbearers never imagined—planets orbiting other stars, for example; black holes the size of our solar system; galaxies being driven apart by invisible "dark energy"; ripples in the fabric of space and time; and of course the big bang, where time itself began.

Last few orbits of a binary black hole merger

This is a physically accurate gravitational lensing visualization of the last few orbits of a binary black hole merger. The camera is above the orbital plane of the merger, looking down.

Black holes and coffee

Over a cup of coffee, astrophysicist Dan Evans chats about black holes, his research and what's on the horizon.

Is the Higgs boson really the Higgs boson?

The deputy physics coordinator for CERN's CMS experiment Darin Acosta explains what we know about the Higgs boson and what remains to be discovered. NSF funds the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment, which is investigating a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter.

NSF Science Now: Episode 21

In this week's episode we discover the oldest fossil evidence of modern, venomous snakes in Africa. We discover what was going on in the earliest moments of our universe just after the Big Bang, and finally we learn about a new weather radar network in Texas.

NSF Science Now Episode 17

This week's episode explores silicon chip technology that could possibly extend cell phone battery life, babies and higher math ability, a drone helping farmers better manage their crops, and finally how more than 83,000 volunteer citizen scientists helped an international research team catalog over 300,000 nearby galaxies.

Firefly mission to study lightning

This short teaser video introduces us to the mission of Firefly, a CubeSat built by undergraduate students with the partnership of Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Science Foundation.

Dark Energy Survey

Members of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration explain what they hope to learn by studying the southern sky with the world's most advanced digital camera, mounted on a telescope in Chile.

Star songs

Several different types of stars and their flickers translated into audio files

NSF Science Now, Episode 14

This week's episode of NSF Science Now explores sea turtle locomotion by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, new images from the Gemini North telescope of comet ISON, also how researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign have created the first digital cameras that mimics insects' unique, 180-degree vision and finally we'll explore Antarctica through a unique Rutgers University program documentary about science on the frigid continent.