Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

Michelle Starr


Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Recent articles by Michelle:

Earth Is a Whole Lot Closer to Our Galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole Than We Thought

It seems that Earth has been misplaced. → Read More

Scientists Detect Hints of Strange New Physics in The Universe's Background Radiation

Throughout all known space, between the stars and the galaxies, an extremely faint glow suffuses, a relic left over from the dawn of the Universe. This is the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the first light that could travel through the Univers → Read More

Huge Underground Reservoir of Freshwater Discovered Off The Coast of Hawai'i

For a long time, Hawai'i Island has been home to a mystery. Somehow, the amount of freshwater in underground aquifers has seemed much smaller than it should be, given the amount of rainfall. → Read More

Strange, Newly Found Magnetar Signals May Force Us to Rethink Fast Radio Bursts

An extremely magnetised star 16,700 light-years away could be the next clue in solving the mystery of fast radio bursts. → Read More

A Giant Star Explosion 350 Years Ago Was Vastly More Powerful Than We Ever Knew

In June of 1670 - almost exactly 350 years ago - French astronomer Voituret Anthelme recorded a 'new' star in the sky. In the Northern constellation of Vulpecula, a pinpoint of light flared into brightness before gradually fading from view with the n → Read More

Something's Making Dead Stars Mysteriously Hot, And We're Running Out of Explanations

When stars like the Sun reach the end of their lives, the object that remains is a white dwarf. This is the star's shrunken, naked core, no longer capable of nuclear fusion. It shines, but only with residual heat, slowly cooling over billions of ye → Read More

Spacecraft With Precious Asteroid Cargo Is Almost Home After 5-Billion Km Trek

In the dusty desert town of Woomera, in the South Australian desert, scientists are getting ready. On 6 December 2020, after six years in space, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft will finally return to Earth. → Read More

The World's Oldest Evidence of Animals Might Be From a Very Different Organism

The origins of life, a few billion years ago, were humble. Single-celled organisms squirming in the ooze, over millions and billions of years developing into multi-celled plants and, eventually, animals. → Read More

The Mystery of This Strange, Blue Nebula May Have Finally Been Solved

In 2004, astronomers found something really weird. Around 6,200 light-years away, a star was found surrounded by a ring-shaped nebula glowing in invisible ultraviolet light. → Read More

Hubble Captures a Black Hole's 'Shadow Beams', Yawning Across Space

In images from the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have spotted an entirely new phenomenon. Reaching tens of thousands of light-years into the void of space, vast shadows stretch from the centre of the galaxy IC 5063, as though something is bloc → Read More

Astronomers Detect Millions of Signals From an Intelligent Civilisation: Us

The Universe seems like a lonely place. → Read More

Building Blocks of Life Can Be Forged by 'Dark Chemistry' Far From Stars or Planets

At least one prebiotic molecule, an ingredient for building life, can form in the harsh environment of interstellar space, far from stars and planets, new research shows. → Read More

Study Maps The Odd Structural Similarities Between The Human Brain And The Universe

One fascinating quirk of the Universe is that shapes and patterns can be found in hugely different contexts: the Golden Spiral can be seen in the human cochlea and the shape of a spiral galaxy; the fractal geometry of veins echoed in the branching → Read More

'Family Tree' of The Milky Way Reveals The Fate of The Mysterious Kraken Galaxy

The Milky Way has collided and merged with multiple other galaxies over its long lifespan, but piecing together its history has been a painstaking task. → Read More

It's Official: The Fast Radio Burst Coming From Within Our Galaxy Is Repeating

The first object within the Milky Way galaxy caught emitting fast radio bursts is now officially a repeater. → Read More

The Rings of Ancient Tree May Hold Tales of Epic Space Explosions

A dying massive star is not a peaceful event. It blasts off its outer material in a colossal explosion, irradiating space with high-energy gamma radiation for several years. Empty space isn't the only thing exposed to this radiation, however. New r → Read More

Astronomers Are Scrambling to Explain This Unusually Bright Kilonova Explosion

From across the Universe, 5.5 billion light-years away, a range of telescopes has captured the bright flash of a short gamma-ray burst. It's reminiscent of the kilonova explosion associated with the neutron star collision we detected in a historic f → Read More

New Radio Images Show Galaxies Like Flames Burning in The Dark

The Universe can be a bit like a magic trick. When you shift to look at the different wavelengths of light, you can see all sorts of objects, events and interactions that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. → Read More

After 86 Years, Physicists Have Finally Made an Electron Crystal

In 1934, theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a new type of crystal. → Read More

ISS Experiment Reveals How We Could Mine Rocks in Space With 400% Efficiency

Obtaining minerals in space may be a little easier than we'd thought - with the help of some of Earth's tiniest inhabitants. → Read More