mrt 182014
 
First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation and the Big Bang

  Almost 14 billion years ago, the Universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the Universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.  Image Credit: NASA Researchers from [continue reading]

jul 182013
 
Stellar Monsters Do Not Collide...

  No hope for a spectacular stellar catastrophe   One might expect that collisions between the remains of monstrous stars, with masses reaching 200-300 times that of our Sun, would be among the most spectacular phenomena in the Universe. Perhaps they are, but we will unfortunately probably never have the chance to find out. Astrophysicists [continue reading]

sep 282012
 
'Flashy' Secrets of Merging Black Holes Uncovered

  According to Einstein, whenever massive objects interact, they produce gravitational waves — distortions in the very fabric of space and time — that ripple outward across the Universe at the speed of light. While astronomers have found indirect evidence of these disturbances, the waves have so far eluded direct detection. Ground-based observatories designed to [continue reading]

sep 182012
 
The Dying Tones of Colliding Black Holes

  Researchers from Cardiff University have discovered a new property of black holes: their dying tones could reveal the cosmic crash that produced them. Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape and so isolated black holes are truly dark objects and don’t emit any form of radiation. [continue reading]

aug 292012
 
Binary White Dwarfs Produce Gravitational Waves

  A team of astronomers led by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the emission of gravitational waves from the second-strongest known source in our galaxy by studying the shrinking orbital period of a unique pair of burnt-out stars. Their observations tested Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity in a new [continue reading]

jul 122012
 
Peering Into the Heart of a Supernova

  Each century, about two massive stars in our own galaxy explode, producing magnificent supernovae. These stellar explosions send fundamental, uncharged particles called neutrinos streaming our way and generate ripples called gravitational waves in the fabric of space-time. This image shows the inner regions of a collapsing, rapidly spinning massive star. The colors indicate entropy, [continue reading]