The most mysterious objects in the Universe

The most mysterious objects in the Universe

How we'll decipher the secrets of 'Oumuamua, Galaxy X and Planet Nine.

The Universe is strange. I sometimes think that could be BBC Focus’s motto, since I seem to learn something inherently weird every issue. It’s what makes this magazine, and working on it, so much fun.

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For example, this month I learned there’s a patch of the International Space Station’s orbit that astronauts describe as the Bermuda Triangle of space. It’s a spot above the Earth where the space station’s instruments and computers fail and the astronauts hallucinate flashes of light. Find out what causes this and other space oddities in the latest issue of BBC Focus, or listen to the feature’s author, Colin Stuart, explain them in the Science Focus Podcast.

I also discovered Formica archboldi, an ant that leaves the severed heads of its considerably larger enemies lying around its nest. The heads, and their contents, are probably collected as a snack and not as some creepy hunting lodge decor. But what’s puzzled scientists is how exactly F. archboldi ants manage to take down their bigger, stronger victims.

Or if you want the ultimate in weirdness, then there’s quantum physics. Usually limited to the realm of the impossibly small, now scientists are beginning to test the scale at which these bizarre phenomena persist. As it turns out, quantum weirdness can apply to living things…

Enjoy the issue, and all the bizarre stuff in it!

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The most mysterious objects in the Universe

The most mysterious objects in the Universe

The cigar-shaped, interstellar object ‘Oumuamua isn’t the only odd thing in space.

No more heart attacks

With technology and treatment, we could cast aside heart attacks for good.

The real Schrödinger’s cat

Tardigrades are helping put this famous thought experiment to the test.

The new science of exercise

How hard and fast workouts may do you more good than long aerobics sessions.

My brain made me do it

Could a sudden blow to the head turn you from a law-abiding citizen into a vicious criminal?

Q&A

  • Why do fingernails grow faster in a hot country?
  • Can i raise my cat or dog as a vegan?
  • How tall is the Universe?

Plus

Eye opener – See the stretch spiders’ stretched-out web and the floating robo-head aboard the ISS.

Discoveries – The month’s biggest science news stories. PLUS: The ants that collect severed heads.

Aleks Krotoski – How to break down barriers with a cup of tea and a bit of a chat.

Michael Mosley – Considering giving veganism a go in 2019? So is Michael.

Innovations – The latest technology and gadget news.

Out there – Suggestions to see, hear and enjoy science.

Crossword – Give your grey matter a workout.

My life scientific – With psychologist Prof Stephen Reicher.

Don’t forget that BBC Focus is also available on all major digital platforms. We have versions for AndroidKindle Fire and Kindle e-reader, as well as an iOS app for the iPad and iPhone.

Subscribe to BBC Focus Magazine


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