Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

Michelle Starr


Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Recent articles by Michelle:

Divers Discover a Magical Bubbling Underwater Spring on The Ocean Floor

There are some awe-inspiring secrets hiding under the ocean, and scientists diving off the coast of the Philippines have just found a new one. Below the waves, 60 metres (200 feet) down, the ocean floor is bubbling like champagne… with vast amounts → Read More

New Discovery Proves Fungi Were Around Way Earlier Than Anyone Expected

Mysterious fossils that had been sitting idle for decades in a Belgian museum have just been identified, and they're something wonderful. According to new analysis, these are fungal structures dating between 715 and 810 million years ago - making t → Read More

Astronomers Have Caught a 'Vampire' Star in The Act of Draining Its Companion

Artists like to anthropomorphise stars as pretty ladies, but in truth, they can be violent bastards. And astronomers have found a particularly bloodthirsty example in a binary star 3,000 light-years away, in which a small dead star slowly and perio → Read More

Chang'e 4 Team Just Released Beyond Amazing New Pics of Our Moon's Far Side

It's been just over a year since China's Chang'e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover landed on the far side of the Moon. All this time, they've been studying the Von Kármán crater and sharing the results through a solitary link - the Queqiao relay satellit → Read More

A New Facility Is Set to Produce Oxygen From Moon Dust at an Unprecedented Scale

Although the Moon has no atmosphere, it has loads of oxygen, all mixed up with the dust on the lunar surface in the form of oxides. → Read More

Astronomers Just Detected 2 Potentially Habitable Super-Earths Orbiting Nearby Stars

A cache of five newly discovered exoplanets orbiting nearby stars has been revealed in a new study. The bounty includes two potentially habitable super-Earths that are perfect candidates to study further in our search for life outside the Solar Sys → Read More

Primordial 'Asgard' Lifeform Has Been Successfully Grown in The Lab

When scientists ran DNA analysis on a sediment core taken from the floor of the Arctic ocean back in 2010, they found something surprising. A previously unknown organism belonging to the strange domain of microbes called Archaea appeared to have ge → Read More

Strange Objects Found at The Galactic Centre Are Like Nothing Else in The Milky Way

There's something really weird in the centre of the Milky Way. → Read More

Hungry Cats Are Known to Sometimes Eat Human Bodies. A Grisly Experiment Reveals How

A decomposing body might gross people out, but for many creatures, it's a bounty, including smaller creatures not widely known for their human flesh-eating habits. → Read More

Scientists Discover Stunning Flower-Like Patterns When Bacteria Combine

Pop a bacterium in a petri dish on an agar nutrient medium and it will go about its business, growing in its own special way. → Read More

Scientists Have Built The First-Ever Robots Constructed Entirely Out of Living Cells

In another lifetime, if they had been allowed to follow their natural development, the stem cells taken from embryonic frogs would have turned into skin and heart tissue within living, breathing animals. → Read More

Tardigrades Are Basically Indestructible, But Scientists Just Found Their Weak Point

Tardigrades are tough little critters. When conditions get nasty, they can dry out, reconfigure their bodies and enter suspended animation - called dessication - for years. You can throw virtually anything at them: frozen temperatures, zero oxygen, h → Read More

The Milky Way Ate Another Galaxy, And This Star Can Tell Us When It Happened

Astronomers recently discovered that a long time ago, a collision with a satellite galaxy did something interesting to the Milky Way, puffing up its disc and seeding its halo with stars. Now, we've established a more precise time frame fo → Read More

The Oldest Known Material on Earth Is Officially Older Than The Solar System

The oldest solid material on Earth has just been identified, and it predates the Solar System itself by at least a few hundred million years. → Read More

Astronomers Just Identified Another Important Aspect of Planets That Could Host Life

We are, by now, pretty familiar with the concept of the Goldilocks zone. Also known as the habitable zone, it's the distance from a star at which liquid water can be present on the surface on a planet - not so hot as to be vaporised, nor so cold as → Read More

Astronomers Have Caught This Pulsar Glitching For The Very First Time

After keeping a dead star under close observation for over two decades, astronomers have finally caught it acting out. → Read More

New Observations From Hubble Could Confirm a Leading Theory on Dark Matter

A new technique using the Hubble Space Telescope and a feature of general relativity has revealed the smallest clumps of dark matter ever identified - up to 100,000 times less massive than the Milky Way galaxy's dark matter halo. → Read More

These Parrots Show Kindness to Each Other Without Any Benefit to Themselves

According to Charles Darwin, helping others just doesn't make sense. Yet we've seemingly seen altruism time and again in the animal kingdom: in primates, in canines, in cetaceans, pinnipeds, even vampire bats. Now, for the first time, it's bee → Read More

Scientists Put Tiny 3D Glasses on Cuttlefish to Find Out How They See

Adorable cephalopods have been made even more adorable with tiny 3D glasses. But scientists weren't trying to get the cuttlefish to enjoy Jaws 3-D; rather, the stereoscopic red-and-blue eyewear is designed to help us understand how the animals' 3D vi → Read More

Gigantic Wave of Star-Forming Gas Is Largest Known Structure of Its Kind in Milky Way

In 1879, astronomer Benjamin Gould identified what looked to be a ring in the sky, measuring about 3,000 light-years across, made of dust and gas and young stars - interconnected stellar nurseries. Now, a new discovery has shattered our understanding → Read More