“Space is big,” said Douglas Adams. “You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is.” But why must this be so? And why does our Universe exhibit such tremendous scale, from the very tiny to the extremely large? Here are some possible answers. »
An exceptionally bright supernova discovered last month appears to shine brighter than 500 billion Suns. That’s twice as luminous as the previous record—but because it’s low in hydrogen, scientists are confused as to where this exploding star got all its energy.
Scientists working with the Planck Satellite have produced a new polarization map of the Milky Way in microwaves, providing an unprecedented view of a rather dramatic electromagnetic loop discovered over a half-century ago.
New research from Western University in Ontario suggests the universe’s first stars amassed in conglomerations so bright they shone with the power of a hundred million suns. »
By applying the rules of Einsteinian general relativity to data pulled in by the Pan-STARRS telescope, scientist have developed two distinct simulations of supermassive black hole mergers that are considered the best yet. »
Could there be a mirror universe, where everything is backwards – and everybody has goatees? How badly do you need to bend the laws of physics to make this happen?
Nothing lasts forever, not even black holes. According to Stephen Hawking, black holes will evaporate over vast periods of time. But how, exactly, does this happen?
Katie Silver has penned an article for BBC Earth in which she explores the idea of finding a single theory that describes the entire Universe. But as her article aptly points out, it's a challenge that appears to be getting increasingly difficult. »
Information can escape the clutches of a black hole, say researchers from Buffalo University. And incredibly, they say this information is not just gobbledygook — it can actually be deciphered to show what lies beneath. »
"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars," Carl Sagan famously said in his 1980 series Cosmos. "We are made of starstuff." »
According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications. »
Dark matter can't be seen or detected by any of our instruments, so how do we know it really exists? »
What's up with all the "fossils" on Mars? They are figments of our imaginations, driven by our interest to be there – on Mars – and to know that we are not alone. Altogether, they feed a multitude of web pages and threads across the internet. »
Light speed is often spoken of as a cosmic speed limit … but not everything plays by these rules. In fact, space itself can expand faster than a photon could ever hope to travel. »
A new assessment of the Cosmic Microwave Background shows that the oldest stars ignited 150 million years later than previously thought. It's a realization that's forcing cosmologists to rethink the 13.8 billion year history of the Universe. »
They mocked when Edgar Allan Poe published his prose poem "Eureka" in his last year of life, describing how the universe had begun with a single "primordial particle" that exploded outwards in "one instantaneous flash." But 80 years later, cosmologists started realizing that Poe had been on to something. »
The Sun-centered model of the solar system was first proposed more than a thousand years before Copernicus. »
A helium balloon fitted with six telescopes is currently floating over Antarctica. It's called SPIDER, and it could show what happened during the Big Bang. Scientists will use it to search for patterns of polarization that could have only been made in primordial light in the fractions of seconds after the birth of the… »