Science

Science

Can you describe the pain of an insect bite? A new book could help.

Do you remember the last time you were stung by a honeybee? Would you say that it felt “burning and corrosive?” Or more like “a flaming match head quenched first by lye, then by sulfuric acid?” Could you assign the pain a numerical value? A new book ranks the pain associated with bee and ant stings and provides helpfully poetic ways of describing them.

Science

A high-powered telescope peers into the dark heart of a black hole

Black holes may be exotic, but they are hardly rare. Every galaxy has one, including ours. But it's tough to look at and study black holes since their gravitational pull is so powerful light can't escape from them. But thanks to a new telescope that captures high-energy x-rays, NASA scientists are peering at their edges, confirming Einstein's theories, and may have gotten the first glimpse of a new kind of black hole.