Joe Palca Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR.

This is a sample photo taken with the 1-megapixel Quanta Image Sensor. Instead of pixels, QIS chips have what researchers call "jots." Each jot can detect a single particle of light. Jiaju Ma hide caption

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Jiaju Ma

Super Sensitive Sensor Sees What You Can't

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Engineers next to NASA's James Webb Space Telescope at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Chris Gunn/NASA hide caption

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Chris Gunn/NASA

How To Pack A Space Telescope

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Sam Rowe for NPR

Can Computers Learn Like Humans?

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This 1793 grave is an early version of the kilogram. It is possible this object, now owned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology museum, was once pirate treasure. NIST Museum hide caption

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NIST Museum

How Pirates Of The Caribbean Hijacked America's Metric System

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Ehud Nakar (Tel Aviv), Ore Gottlieb (Tel Aviv), Leo Singer (NASA), Mansi Kasliwal (Caltech), and the GROWTH collaboration YouTube

WATCH: What Happens When 2 Neutron Stars Collide

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A technician examines the mirror on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Scientists at two national laboratories are currently building the components for an enormous digital camera that will capture images from the telescope. Joe McNally/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe McNally/Getty Images

The Largest Digital Camera In The World Takes Shape

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Patients with Type-1 diabetes don't have enough healthy islets of Langerhans cells — hormone-secreting cells of the pancreas. Granules inside these cells release insulin and other substances into the blood. Steve Gschmeissner/Science Source hide caption

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Steve Gschmeissner/Science Source

A Quest: Insulin-Releasing Implant For Type-1 Diabetes

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Nobel Prize Came Quickly For 3 Physicists Who Discovered Gravitational Waves

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Left to Right: Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, who won the Nobel Physics Prize 2017 for gravitational waves, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced October 3, 2017 in Stockholm. Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images

3 Americans Win 2017 Nobel Prize In Physics

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Dola Sun for NPR

Breakthrough Pain Treatment Or Snake Oil? You Decide.

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An artist's depiction of two black holes colliding. NASA hide caption

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NASA

Gravitational Wave Detector In Italy Saw Wave Pass Through Earth In August

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An artist's depiction of Planet Nine. The object is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side. Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC) hide caption

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Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Astronomers Search For Giant Planet On Outer Edges Of Solar System

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Artist's concept of Cassini diving between Saturn and its innermost ring. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Cassini Plunges To Saturn

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