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Astronomy: March 2020


The search for life on planets beyond our solar system has long been the purview of science fiction, but a UC Santa Barbara team supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation is now building the technology to do just that.

Researchers have designed a new camera that could allow hypertelescopes to image multiple stars at once. The enhanced telescope design holds the potential to obtain extremely high-resolution images of objects outside our solar system, such as planets, pulsars, globular clusters and distant galaxies.

The behavior of one of nature's humblest creatures is helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the universe. The single-cell organism, known as slime mold (Physarum polycephalum), builds complex filamentary networks in search of food, finding near-optimal pathways to connect different locations.