Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category

Signs of dark matter from Minnesota mine

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

An experiment in Minnesota is the first to bolster a long-contested claim that detectors a continent away have found evidence of particles called WIMPs.

NASA’s Gravity Probe B Confirms Two Einstein Space-Time Theories

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

NASA’s Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission has confirmed two key predictions derived from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which the spacecraft was designed to test.


Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Some black holes are a result of the violent supernovae of massive stars, others have persisted in the cores of the majority of galaxies for billions of years. Some theories suggest (harmless) microscopic black holes might even be spawned by particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.

Strange cosmic ray hotspots stalk southern skies

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Cosmic rays crashing into the Earth over the South Pole appear to be coming from particular locations, rather than being distributed uniformly across the sky. Similar cosmic ray “hotspots” have been seen in the northern skies too, yet we know of no source close enough to produce this pattern.

Scientists hope to illuminate universe’s dark side

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Everything scientists now know about the cosmos, from the Big Bang to black holes, has come from measurements of light rays.

Historic Star Explosion’s Trigger Discovered

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Astronomers have identified what appears to be a cosmic smoking gun for a historic supernova explosion, a find that may also help with the search for elusive dark energy in the universe.

First Stars in Universe May Have Spun Like Crazy

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The first stars in the universe may have been extraordinarily fast spinners, whirling at more than a million miles per hour, scientists say.

Radioactivity challenges dark-matter detector

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Time is running out for Elena Aprile, a physicist at Columbia University in New York. In mid-March, she is scheduled to present the results of a dark-matter experiment at a workshop in Venice, Italy, but she doesn’t have the results yet.

Dark Energy: Was Einstein Right After All?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

You’ve probably never heard of a galaxy known as NGC 6264, and you’ve surely never given it a whole lot of thought. But the distant star cluster has just provided astronomers with new insight into one of the most mysterious forces in the universe.

Space Odyssey: Scientists go to the extremes of the earth to divine the secrets of extraterrestrial life.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

If it’s just us in this universe, what a terrible waste of space. For thousands of years, humans have wondered about who and what might be living beyond the confines of our planet: gods, beneficent or angry; a heaven full of sinners long forgiven; creatures as large and strange as our imagination.

Hidden universes revealed

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Is it preposterous to consider the existence of parallel universes? Or is it preposterous not to? Physicist Brian Greene would tend toward the latter view.

The Universe’s First Stars Weren’t Loners After All

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Astronomers have long believed that the early universe was a lonely place populated by huge — but solitary — stars spread across the cosmos. But a new study suggests these massive stellar loners were more the exception than the rule.

Some of Universe’s First Stars May Still Be Visible

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

A new study that suggests the first stars in the universe formed in groups instead of in isolation, as previously thought, also has found something else: Some of these first stars may still be visible today.

Maser to predict Milky Way’s fate

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

WILL the Milky Way slam into its giant neighbour, Andromeda, in a few billion years? A laser-like spot of light in the galaxy hints at an answer.

Wave-Generated ‘White Hole’ Boosts Hawking Radiation Theory: UBC Research

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A team of UBC physicists and engineers have designed an experiment featuring a trough of flowing water to help bolster a 35-year-old theory proposed by eminent physicist Stephen Hawking.

When the Black Hole Was Born

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Most galaxies in the universe, including our own Milky Way, harbor super-massive black holes varying in mass from about one million to about 10 billion times the size of our sun. To find them, astronomers look for the enormous amount of radiation emitted by gas which falls into such objects during the times that the black holes are “active,” i.e., accreting matter. This gas “infall” into massive black holes is believed to be the means by which black holes grow.

Scientists May Be Missing Many Star Explosions

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Some of the brightest stellar explosions in the galaxy may be flying under astronomers’ radar, a new study suggests.

Superhero move may save black holes from nakedness

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Black holes may dodge the speeding “bullets” that would otherwise strip them naked – and pose problems for Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
The finding is good news for physicist Stephen Hawking, who has wagered that such naked singularities are a physical impossibility.


Saturday, December 4th, 2010

If you’ve been following the ongoing hunt for the elusive dark matter, you probably noticed the recent article in Physics World about a new paper in Physical Review Letters proposing a hypothetical “X” particle as an alternative candidate to Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs).

University of Toronto physicists create supernova in a jar

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

A team of physicists from the University of Toronto and Rutgers University have mimicked the explosion of a supernova in miniature.