Hajor / Wikipedia

Most connected devices use radio waves, be it WiFi or Bluetooth. Although it makes our lives more convenient, it's making astronomers' lives harder, according to Wired. Radio waves don't just come from humans, they're emitted by objects in space, and scientists can use them to analyze just about everything, from stars to nebulas to comets.

Right now, some radio wavelengths are reserved exclusively for radio astronomy. But that doesn't mean they're the only frequencies space sends towards Earth, and it's getting harder to detect space's signals through all the earthly noise. (Mysterious "alien" radio signals detected in Australia in 2015 were caused by a microwave, for example.)

Military and industry groups are working toward possible solutions, but they come with their own challenges. The best solution is to figure out how to share the spectrum, says Wired's Sarah Scoles. "If you fill the spectrum with man-made emissions, you will never be able to understand certain parts of the universe," astronomer Liese vanZee told Wired.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

3 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.