Author Archives: Shannon Hall

Shannon Hall

About Shannon Hall

Shannon Hall, a freelance science journalist, has two bachelors in physics-astronomy and philosophy and two masters in astronomy and science journalism. Eight years of higher education explains why she's hooked on the smell of freshly ground coffee almost as much as the wonders of the universe.

Bullet Cluster

Does a Fifth Force Permeate the Universe?

A team of theoretical physicists thinks a fifth force could explain an anomaly spotted in a nuclear physics experiment. If true, it could have huge ramifications for particle physics and dark matter — but that’s a pretty big if.

two black holes in the moments before a catastrophic collision

LIGO Detects Second Black Hole Collision

The gravitational wave observatory has detected a second event, heralding a new era in astrophysics. The day after Christmas last year, the cosmos quietly gifted scientists with gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime – produced in a collision between two stellar-mass black holes. It’s the second event detected by physicists working with…

Ripples in the Milky Way's Disk

A Galaxy Hit-and-Run

Ripples found in the Milky Way’s disk reveal our galaxy survived an ancient hit-and-run. Now, astronomers might have caught the culprit.

This artist's conception shows the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system and their host star, a red dwarf star only 20 light years away from Earth. The large planet in the foreground is the newly discovered GJ 581g, which has a 37-day orbit right in the middle of the star's habitable zone and is only three to four times the mass of Earth, with a diameter 1.2 to 1.4 times that of Earth.
Lynette Cook

Do Atmospheres Spin Worlds to Habitability?

The best place to look for nearby Earth-size planets are around the smallest, coolest stars. New research shows that any exoplanets tightly circling their stars might have a better chance of being habitable than previously thought.