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How crashing neutron stars killed off some of our best ideas about what ‘dark energy’ is

Artist s impression of merging neutron stars. Author University of Warwick/Mark Garlick, CC BY-SA

How crashing neutron stars killed off some of our best ideas about what ‘dark energy’ is

How crashing neutron stars killed off some of our best ideas about what ‘dark energy’ is Artist s impression of merging neutron stars. Author University of Warwick/Mark Garlick, CC BY-SA Thomas Kitching, UCL There was much excitement when scientists witnessed the violent collision of two […]

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018

An image by MeerKAT shows hydrogen gas in M83, a famous spiral galaxy. SKA SA

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018

Telescopes in southern Africa will peel back the universe’s secrets from 2018 An image by MeerKAT shows hydrogen gas in M83, a famous spiral galaxy. SKA SA Imogen Whittam, University of the Western Cape One of the world’s largest collaborative science projects is about to […]

Found: Most Distant Black Hole

This artist's concept shows the most distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. It is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang. Credits: Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science

Found: Most Distant Black Hole

Found: Most Distant Black Hole Scientists have uncovered a rare relic from the early universe: the farthest known supermassive black hole. This matter-eating beast is 800 million times the mass of our Sun, which is astonishingly large for its young age. Researchers report the find […]

Study finds ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ may not exist – here’s what to make of it

Image showing where scientists believe dark matter resides in the galaxy cluster Abell 520 – near the hot gas in the middle, coloured green. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, CC BY-SA

Study finds ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ may not exist – here’s what to make of it

Study finds ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ may not exist – here’s what to make of it Image showing where scientists believe dark matter resides in the galaxy cluster Abell 520 – near the hot gas in the middle, coloured green. Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, […]

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground

Looking up in the main chamber at SNOLAB’s facility in the Vale Creighton nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont., a giant spherical neutrino sensor array the size of a 10 storey building is used to detect subatomic particles that pass through the earth. (Handout)

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground

How scientists unlock secrets of the universe from deep underground Looking up in the main chamber at SNOLAB’s facility in the Vale Creighton nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont., a giant spherical neutrino sensor array the size of a 10 storey building is used to detect […]

Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe

CSIRO Parkes radio telescope has discovered around half of all known pulsars. Wayne England, Author provided

Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe

Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe CSIRO Parkes radio telescope has discovered around half of all known pulsars. Wayne England, Author provided George Hobbs, CSIRO; Dick Manchester, CSIRO, and Simon Johnston, CSIRO A pulsar is a small, […]

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

This new Picture of the Week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two? Astronomers looked at NGC 4625 in different wavelengths in the hope of solving this cosmic mystery. Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disc of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot — hence mainly visible in the ultraviolet — stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy. These young stars are only around one billion years old, about 10 times younger than the stars seen in the optical centre. At first astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy called NGC 4618. They speculated that NGC 4618 may be the culprit “harassing” NGC 4625, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim: The gas in the outermost regions of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4618 has been strongly affected by NGC 4625. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm This new picture of the week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with […]

A guide to meteor showers – what to look out for and when

Blink and you’ll miss it – until the next one. Channone Arif/Flickr, CC BY

A guide to meteor showers – what to look out for and when

A guide to meteor showers – what to look out for and when Blink and you’ll miss it – until the next one. Channone Arif/Flickr, CC BY Mark Gallaway, University of Hertfordshire It has happened to most of us: walking home late at night under […]