Latest Big Bang Stories

2010-12-17 06:35:00

A UK-led international team of astronomers have presented the first conclusive evidence for a dramatic surge in star birth in a newly discovered population of massive galaxies in the early Universe. Their measurements confirm the idea that stars formed most rapidly about 11 billion years ago, or about three billion years after the Big Bang, and that the rate of star formation is much faster than was thought. The scientists used the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, an...

2010-12-08 22:11:58

Thirteen billion years ago our universe was dark. There were neither stars nor galaxies; there was only hydrogen gas left over after the Big Bang. Eventually that mysterious time came to an end as the first stars ignited and their radiation transformed the nearby gas atoms into ions. This phase of the universe's history is called the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), and it is intimately linked to many fundamental questions in cosmology. But looking back so far in time presents numerous...

2010-12-03 13:38:05

Directors of the CERN research center said that new data on the origins of the universe is pouring in so quickly that physicists may extend the current opening phase of their "Big Bang" project to the end of 2012. An extension could lead to an early discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, which is believed to have turned an amorphous mass of particles into solid matter at the birth of the universe. "There is a big window for new discoveries opening up and we want to ensure the momentum of...

2010-11-29 14:12:24

UBC and TRIUMF physicists have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter and the so-called baryon asymmetry--the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the Universe. The visible Universe appears to be made of atoms, and each of these atoms carries a positive baryon charge equal to total number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus. However, since the discovery of antimatter in 1932, researchers have wondered why the...

2010-11-25 06:36:54

New findings disagree with current models Some of the universe's most massive galaxies may have formed billions of years earlier than current scientific models predict, according to surprising new research led by Tufts University. The findings appear in the Astrophysical Journal published online Nov. 24 in advance of print publication on Dec. 10, 2010. "We have found a relatively large number of very massive, highly luminous galaxies that existed almost 12 billion years ago when the universe...

2010-11-23 11:14:41

Astronomers find cosmic dust annoying when it blocks their view of the heavens, but without it the universe would be devoid of stars. Cosmic dust is the indispensable ingredient for making stars and for understanding how primordial diffuse gas clouds assemble themselves into full"“blown galaxies. "Formation of galaxies is one of the biggest remaining questions in astrophysics," said Andrey Kravtsov, associate professor in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago....

2010-11-22 06:50:00

Submillimeter observatories penetrate cold, dusty galaxies to see stars forming in the primeval past A chance alignment of galaxies, recently observed by a space observatory, presents the perfect opportunity for studying star-forming galaxies billions of light-years away. For decades, astronomers have used Einstein's concept of a "gravitational lens" to study the magnified images of distant objects.  A lensing effect occurs when a massive object, such as a galaxy, is located exactly...

2010-11-15 13:25:00

It all started with a Big Bang. Well, actually, it all started with a beach ball. Not just any beach ball, but one that is printed with data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). This educational beach ball was developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and NASA's Blueshift team decided to blog about it. As a result, they ended up visiting the set of the popular CBS sitcom about geeky scientists, "The Big Bang Theory." "We started Blueshift in 2007 to...

2010-11-11 12:50:00

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of a giant cosmic magnifying glass to create one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe. Dark matter is an invisible and unknown substance that makes up the bulk of the universe's mass. The new dark matter observations may yield new insights into the role of dark energy in the universe's early formative years. The result suggests that galaxy clusters may have formed earlier than expected, before the...

2010-11-02 10:51:41

A team of astronomers has found evidence that the universe may have gone through a warming trend early in its history. They measured the temperature of the gas that lies in between galaxies, and found a clear indication that it had increased steadily over the period from when the universe was one tenth to one quarter of its current age. This cosmic climate change is most likely caused by the huge amount of energy output from young, active galaxies during this epoch. The researchers publish...

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2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was completed in September 2012 and shows the farthest galaxies ever photographed by humans. Each speck of light in the photo is an individual galaxy, some of them as old as 13.2 billion years; the observable universe is estimated to contain more than 200 billion galaxies. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia What is Cosmology? I once commented to an acquaintance that I was fascinated by the field of Cosmology, and mused that if I had more time, I...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos -- Stars are organised into galaxies which in turn appear to form clusters and superclusters, separated by voids. Prior to 1989 it was commonly assumed that the superclusters were the largest structures in existence, and that they were distributed more-or-less uniformly throughout the universe in every direction. However, in 1989, Margaret Geller and John Huchra discovered the "Great Wall", a sheet of galaxies more than 500 million light years long...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cosmology -- area of science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the structure and evolution of the entire physical universe. Modern Cosmological Theories Present models of the universe hold two fundamental premises: the cosmological principle and the dominant role of gravitation. Derived by Hubble, the cosmological principle holds that if a large enough sample of galaxies is considered, the universe looks the same from all positions and in all directions in space. The second point...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Redshift -- Redshift is the phenomenon that the frequency of light when observed, under certain circumstances, can be lower than the frequency of light when it was emitted at the source. This usually occurs when the source moves away from the observer, as in the Doppler effect. More specifically, the term redshift is used for the observation that the spectrum of light emitted by distant galaxies is shifted to lower frequencies (towards the red end of the spectrum, hence the name) when...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Quasar -- A quasar (from quasi-stellar radio source) is an astronomical object that looks like a star in optical telescopes (i.e. it is a point source), but has a very high redshift. The general consensus is that this high redshift is cosmological, the result of Hubble's law and that their redshift indicates that they are typically very distant from Earth; we observe them as they were several billions of years ago. Since we can see them despite their distance, they must emit more...

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Word of the Day
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'