A team of scientists who last year suggested neutrinos could travel faster than light have conceded that Einstein was right and the sub-atomic particles are – like everything else – bound by the universe’s speed limit.
Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category
The sardonic proverb “nothing is certain but death and taxes,” can now be recast for the cosmos.
Last week’s announcement of the inevitable collision of the Andromeda galaxy with the Milky Way is one of only two apocalyptic astronomical predictions that we can be absolutely certain of. The other is the death of our sun. Purely deterministic processes drive both.
Astronomers have long known that the Andromeda Galaxy is headed our way. Now they’ve concluded that it most likely will collide with the Milky Way head-on — with dramatic consequences.
The faint, lumpy glow from the very first objects in the universe may have been detected with the best precision yet using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The objects could be wildly massive stars or voracious black holes. They are too far away to be seen individually, but Spitzer has captured new, convincing evidence of what appears to be the collective pattern of their infrared light.
A surplus of radioactive atoms in Japanese trees may point to an unrecorded astronomical event that showered Earth with cosmic rays about 1,200 years ago.
Invisible dark matter particles may regularly pass through our bodies, and dozens to thousands of these particles may be colliding with atoms inside us every year, according to a new calculation.
As the author of A Brief History of Time approaches 70, eminent former students celebrate an awe-inspiring intellect still pushing at the frontiers of physics
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: do you know about the bar in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy? Astronomers first recognized almost 80 years ago that the Milky Way Galaxy, around which the sun and its planets orbit, is a huge spiral galaxy.
The mechanism that explains why our universe was born with 3 dimensions: a 40-year-old puzzle of superstring theory solved by supercomputerMonday, January 2nd, 2012
A group of three researchers from KEK, Shizuoka University and Osaka University has for the first time revealed the way our universe was born with 3 spatial dimensions from 10-dimensional superstring theory*1 in which spacetime has 9 spatial directions and 1 temporal direction.
This result was obtained by numerical simulation on a supercomputer.
LIGO is essentially a giant interferometer. There is a very large mirror hung in such a way as to form an arm, with two more mirrors hung perpendicular to it to form an L-shape when viewed from above. Scientists then pass laser light through a beam splitter, thereby dividing the beam between those two arms, and let the light bounce back and forth a few times before returning to the beam splitter.
New measurements of tiny galaxies contradict scientists’ best model of dark matter, further complicating the already mysterious picture of the stuff that is thought to make up 98 percent of all matter in the universe.
The dark ages of the universe — an era of darkness that existed before the first stars and galaxies — mostly remain a mystery because there is so little of it to see, but scientists intensely desire to shed light on them in order to learn secrets about how the universe came into being.
Two researchers from Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg have revealed for the first time the existence of a new signature of the birth of our galaxy’s first stars. More than 12 billion years ago, their intense light dispersed the gas of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies.
Dark energy is the basic constituent of the Universe today, one that is responsible for its accelerated expansion. Although astronomers observe the cosmological effects of the impact of dark energy, they still do not know exactly what it is.
Where did all the gold come from? Violent collisions between dense former stars may be why gold, lead, thorium and other heavy elements exist in such abundance.
Only hydrogen, helium and lithium were present after the big bang. Ordinary stars then fused elements up to the mass of iron. Anything heavier was created when smaller atoms captured neutrons, some of which then decayed into protons.
Computer simulations are revealing how the earliest stars formed. Here, a simulation shows two star-forming regions coalescing from clouds of gas about 200 million years after the Big Bang.
The reasoning behind why different amounts of matter, and associate antimatter, has survived the birth of our Universe may just have been solved by a physicist of the University of Warwick.
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a new study of the orbital evolution of minor planets Ceres and Vesta, a few days before the flyby of Vesta by the Dawn spacecraft. A team of astronomers found that close encounters among these bodies lead to strong chaotic behavior of their orbits, as well as of the Earth’s eccentricity.
Astronomers studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB) have uncovered new direct evidence for dark energy – the mysterious substance that appears to be accelerating the expansion of the universe. Their findings could also help map the structure of dark matter on the universe’s largest length scales.