STEM in Context

The newest chemical elements

The Newest Elements on the Periodic Table

The periodic table was last updated in 2016 with four new chemical elements. What is a chemical element? What is the atomic structure of the newest chemical elements? How did they get their names?
Artist’s conception of NASA’s Space Launch System

Escape Velocity

Why do a baseball and a rocket need the same launch speed to get from Earth into space? It has to do with physics and gravitational force.
Milky Way galaxy as seen from Australia (Brett Ritchie via Unsplash)

The Milky Way

In 2019, scientists discovered that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is not the shape they thought it was. How do astronomers use astronomical distance to understand the shapes of galaxies?