Charles Choi,

Charles Choi

United States

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Past articles by Charles:

15 times black holes surprised us in 2022

Over the past year, astronomers have gleaned new insights into black holes across the universe. Here is a list of 15 times black holes surprised us in 2022. → Read More

9 alien planet discoveries that were out-of-this-world in 2022

As scientists enter the third decade of exoplanet discoveries, they continue to uncover strange, fascinating findings that sometimes raise more questions than answers. From a scorching super-Eart → Read More

How does arsenic kill?

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element with properties similar to those found in phosphorus. It is also a deadly toxin that is difficult to detect. → Read More

Rogue black hole spotted on its own for the first time

The isolated stellar-mass black hole is the first of its kind ever detected, scientists say. → Read More

A Million Geysers of Plasma Spout from the Sun, and Scientists May Finally Know Why

When it comes to the mystery behind what causes jets of solar plasma that regularly erupt from the sun, clues have now emerged suggesting magnetic clashes on the surface of the sun may be the culprits, a new study finds. → Read More

Scientists Piece Together the Rise and Fall of an Empire From Evidence Hidden in a Cave

(Inside Science) – Secrets hidden within stalagmites in an Iraqi cave are now shedding light on how climate change influenced both the rise and fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, once the most powerful empire of its time, a new study finds. → Read More

Ancient Ape with 'Human Legs' and 'Orangutan Arms' Moved Like No Other Creature on Earth

More than 11 million years ago, an oddball ape equipped with human-like legs and robust orangutan-like arms clambered across tree limbs, shedding light on humans' bipedal locomotion. → Read More

'Star Wars' Gets the Parsec Wrong Again in 'The Mandalorian'

In the very first Star Wars live-action TV series, Disney+'s "The Mandalorian," we hear the bounty hunter the show is named after is "the best in the parsec." The sci-fi epic has had a history of using — and, many would say, misusing — the word "parsec" since its very beginning. → Read More

Colorado Fossils Show How Mammals Rebounded After the Dinosaur Age Ended

(Inside Science) -- Scientists now have the best picture yet of how life on land recovered in the first million years after the age of dinosaurs, with the help of a surprising trove of thousands of fossils unearthed in Colorado, a new study finds.Roughly 66 million years ago, the reign of the dinosaurs ended with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. "We were hit by this → Read More

We May Finally Know How the Universe's Heavy Elements Formed

Scientists detected strontium in the aftermath of a dead-star collision. → Read More

Rogue, Starless Planets May Circle Black Holes

Thousands of planets may form and orbit around the kind of supermassive black holes found in the cores of most, if not all, galaxies, a new study finds. → Read More

This Poofy, Inflated Exoplanet Is One of the Puffiest Ever Seen

A new study of a hot Jupiter called WASP-174b suggests the planet may be one of the least dense exoplanets ever discovered. → Read More

Doomed Alien Planets 'Polluted' White Dwarf Stars with Earth-Like Rocks

Doomed Alien Planets 'Polluted' White Dwarf Stars with Earth-Like Rocks → Read More

Mysterious Star's Flickering May Be Masked by Dust and Gas from Disintegrating Moons

(Inside Science) -- In 2015, astronomers noticed that a star named KIC 8462852 was flickering unusually. Some researchers suggested that the observations could potentially be explained by "alien megastructures." But a new study finds a relatively simple explanation: dust.The F-type yellow-white dwarf star, which is slightly larger and hotter than our sun, sits about 1,480 → Read More

Scientists Propose New Satellite Tech to Dodge Space Junk from Megaconstellations

New infrared cameras and gel-based thrusters just might help future satellites dodge space debris, a new study finds. → Read More

Supermagnetic Stars May Form from Mergers

Models of colliding stars suggest such events may generate powerful magnetic fields. → Read More

Most Extreme 'Hot Jupiter' Alien Planet Completes 1 Orbit Every 18 Hours

Giant alien worlds known as hot Jupiters get scorchingly close to their host stars, and now astronomers have discovered the most extreme version of such planets to date — one that zips around its star in a little more than 18 hours. → Read More

Faint Filaments of Universe-Spanning 'Cosmic Web' Finally Found

The faintly glowing wisps of gas that make up the intergalactic filaments of a universe-spanning cosmic web may have finally been detected for the first time, a new study reports. → Read More

'Eyeball Earth' Alien Planets May Be Lifeless 'Snowballs'

Alien worlds resembling giant eyeballs might be able to host life, but they may not be as common as previously suggested, a new study finds. → Read More

Surprise! Giant Planet Found Circling Tiny Red Dwarf Star

Astronomers have discovered a giant, Jupiter-like planet in an unexpected location, and it's orbiting a small, nearby red dwarf star, a new study finds. → Read More