Why Daimler Researchers Used VR to Become Self-Driving Cars

You’re lying on your stomach, with your arms draped forwards, almost like you’re going to get a shoulder massage. Except this is not a moment for relaxation. Through a VR headset, you see flashes of color, an unfamiliar view of the world, a group of red lines that looks something …

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The Astounding Engineering Behind the Giant Magellan Telescope

It’s easy to miss the mirror forge at the University of Arizona. While sizable, the Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory sits in the shadow of the university’s much larger 56,000-seat football stadium. Even its most distinctive feature—an octagonal concrete prominence emblazoned with the school’s logo—looks like an architectural feature for …

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5 Comics to Read After You've Seen 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Thor: Ragnarok has it all: sibling rivalry, superhero battles, the final fate of mythical realms, and the Hulk dressed up like a gladiator. It’s the kind of movie designed to have you exiting the theater wanting more—and that’s where we come in. Or, more accurately, that’s where the following five …

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Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

The alerts started in the early morning of Aug. 17. Gravitational waves produced by the wreck of two neutron stars—dense cores of dead stars—had washed over Earth. The thousand-plus physicists of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory rushed to decode the space-time vibrations that rolled across the detectors like a …

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Space Photos of the Week: These Galaxies Are Far, *Far* Away

This spectacular view of the Milky Way was captured in Chile, home of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, seen in the foreground. The brightest star in the upper left of the frame is Antares, which is surrounded by the “galactic bulge,” a region that is dense in stars, …

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'Her Body and Other Parties': A Book Propelled by the 2016 Election

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut book, a short story collection called Her Body and Other Parties, is currently a finalist for the National Book Award. Machado thinks that the strong response to the stories—which delve deeply into the psyches of women, particularly queer women—is partly thanks to a backlash over the …

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