Top stories: The universe’s first stars, Philae’s wake-up call, and dinosaur exile
(left to right) M. Kornmesser/ESO; ESA; Victor Leshyk

Top stories: The universe’s first stars, Philae’s wake-up call, and dinosaur exile

Astronomers spot first-generation stars, made from big bang

Astronomers may have discovered our universe's very first generation of stars, ones made only from ingredients provided directly by the big bang! Until recently, many astronomers had thought they would never be able to see such stars, because all would have died in the universe’s early history—too long ago (and too far away) for us to see. But using new instruments on the world’s top telescopes, a team has found a uniquely bright galaxy that seems to bear all the hallmarks of containing the universe’s first stars.

Energy harnessed from humidity can power small devices

Scientists have built devices that harness changes in humidity to generate small amounts of electricity. In the grand scheme of things, that captured energy is not free, but it’s pretty darn close! Eventually, we could end up using evaporation to power gadgets, albeit ones that don’t need a lot of juice.

Scientists celebrate comet lander Philae’s call after 7-month slumber

Rosetta's lost comet lander ‪‎Philae has woken up and phoned home after 7 months of hibernation. A bumpy landing last November had left the lander stranded in the shadows of a huge cliff, where it survived just 57 hours until its batteries drained. Now that Philae’s solar panels are finally getting some light, the lander is up and running, and mission scientists are thrilled and eager to begin new experiments.

Short-term fasting may improve health

Forget dieting every day; try doing it a few times a month! A new study suggests that cutting calories for just a few days each month doesn’t just help with weight loss—it can also fight aging and make us healthier.

Raging fires, high temps kept big dinosaurs out of North America for millions of years

The earliest dinosaurs first walked Earth 245 million to 230 million years ago in the Southern Hemisphere, but none appeared in North America for another 30 million years. Now, scientists may have solved the mystery of what kept them out: high carbon dioxide levels, raging fires, and extreme temperatures.