Nathaniel Scharping

Nathaniel is a freelance science writer based in Tacoma, WA. He writes about space, medicine, and the environment, and his work has been featured in Atlas Obscura, Science, Undark, Knowable Magazine, and more.


Inside the space start-up that plans to fling satellites to orbit

The dizzying concept could launch precious cargo relatively cheaply and efficiently.

1, 2, 3...

Look! New image shows an elusive black hole behavior for the first time

A reprocessing of Event Horizon Telescope data yields a ring of photons around the black hole at M87.


“Quantum materials” could give the human brain a run for its money, scientists say

With this new design, our machines may reach general intelligence — and perhaps even consciousness.

einstein drinking haterade

New repeating fast radio burst doesn't seem to have an off-switch

The puzzling object could give astronomers key insight into their origin.


Can the world’s most powerful telescope find alien civilizations?

Astronomers tease apart what the Event Horizon Telescope can actually spot.

i mean probably not, but

70-year-old astronomy photos may be clues to alien visitors — study

The plates, taken prior to the launch of Sputnik, show satellite-like objects near Earth.


Is Russia's withdrawal from the ISS a bluff? Why it’s too soon to say if it’s leaving

Recent comments suggest Roscosmos intends to leave the International Space Stations over Ukraine war-related sanctions.

to boldly go

NASA extends 8 missions, including plans to scrutinize a large asteroid that will swing by Earth in 2029

NASA granted eight missions an extension, allowing continued exploration of Mars, asteroids, the Kuiper Belt, and the Moon.

that's no comet!

Look: Stunning new images show details of mysterious deep space radio rings

The ORC is one of the biggest mysteries in radio astronomy — but maybe not for much longer.

Space history

8 years ago, the U.S. and Russia played chicken with the ISS — will history repeat itself?

Russian and the USA's 2014 diplomatic spat over the ISS also provides a blueprint for understanding the current clash over the space station — and how this fresh fight may ultimately pan out.


Hubble, the ISS, and Chandra: Why NASA has an aging hardware problem

Sometimes, a hobbled mission is a setback. Other times, the consequences can run deep.


This rare Frankenstein star wears the skin of its dead companion

This kind of "merger" is so rare that only two stars of this type are known.


Whose rocket is going to hit the Moon? The space debris culprit, revealed

Updated information seems to point to the rocket coming from China's space agency.


Behold! The James Webb Space Telescope is on the launchpad

In development since the 1990s, it's finally a reality.