World’s Largest Airplane’s First-Ever Flight

Weighing 500,000 pounds and boasting two fuselages and a wingspan of 385 feet, Stratolaunch‘s behemoth of a plane—which will launch rockets into Earth’s orbit—took flight for the first time ever this past weekend. Taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port, the Stratolaunch ascended to 15,000 feet, reaching speeds up to 175 MPH, before landing successfully two hours later. “It was an emotional moment …

Spy Planes Spot Ancient Archaeological Sites

Using images taken by American U-2 spy planes between 1959 and 1972, researchers and archaeologists have been able to uncover archaeological sites in the Middle East that have since been developed over. Though only the final five years worth of photographs are of a high enough resolution to decipher, pre-urban sprawl imagery presented scenes of 5,000 to 8,000 stone structures with clarity. Read more about the …

First-Ever Photo of a Supermassive Black Hole

Truly a quantum leap, astronomers have “seen the unseeable” and captured an image of a supermassive black hole—a “smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity,” Dennis Overbye writes for the New York Times. A planet-sized network of eight radio telescopes—called the Event Horizon Telescope—peered through interstellar dust and gas to reveal the black hole, located in a galaxy called Messier 87, which exists some …