Latest Big Bang Stories

2010-05-21 08:01:39

Advancing into the next frontier in astrophysics and cosmology depends on our ability to detect the presence of a particular type of wave in space, a primordial gravitational wave. Much like ripples moving across a pond, these waves stretch the fabric of space itself as they pass by. If detected, these weak and elusive waves could provide an unprecedented view of the earliest moments of our universe. In an article appearing in the May 21 issue of Science, Arizona State University theoretical...

2010-04-21 14:45:00

Narrower constraints from the newest analysis aren't quite narrow enough The international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced the Union2 compilation of hundreds of Type Ia supernovae, the largest collection ever of high-quality data from numerous surveys. Analysis of the new compilation significantly narrows the possible values that dark energy might take"”but not enough to decide among...

2010-04-14 08:35:00

Astronomers investigating why the cosmic background radiation is much brighter at radio wavelengths than expected have identified a potential culprit: fast spinning black holes early in the galaxy formation process. The results will be presented by Professor Andy Lawrence at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday April 14th. Last July, US astronomers announced surprising results from a high-altitude balloon experiment called ARCADE-2, which had made careful measurements of...

2010-04-02 08:20:08

Discovery may be in front of your home computer. As technology increases the amount of new information available in various fields of science such as oceanography, astronomy and ecology, researchers are turning to citizen scientists to unlock the data. In a study funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Education & Human Resources, researchers are studying an online suite of citizen-science projects called Zooniverse to determine the implications of public...

2010-03-25 14:11:54

Supermassive black holes found at the centers of distant galaxies undergo huge growth spurts as a result of galactic collisions, according to a new study by astronomers at Yale University and the University of Hawaii. Their findings appear in the March 25 edition of Science Express. As massive, gas-rich galaxies in the distant universe collide, the central black hole feeds on gas that is funneled to the center of the merger. "As a result of the violent, messy collision, the black hole also...

2010-03-25 06:55:00

Up to now, primitive black holes, which occupy the cores of active galaxies and were around as far back as the early days of the universe, only existed in astronomer's models. Researchers have now found two such gravitational monsters, however, which revealed themselves as brightly glowing quasars. Their light originates from a time when the universe was barely one billion years old - and we can see them now exactly as they appeared 12.7 billion years ago (Nature, March 18, 2010). A quasar is...

2010-03-24 16:44:53

An experiment led by a University of Alberta researcher, at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, could dramatically change our concepts of basic physics, revolutionize our understanding of the Universe and could eventually lead to technologies in future generations that right now only exist in science fiction. U of A physics professor James Pinfold is leading an international team of physicists who will use ultra high energy proton collisions. The protons will move at very near the speed...

2010-03-22 07:40:00

About 23% of the Universe is made up of mysterious "Ëœdark matter', invisible material only detected through its gravitational influence on its surroundings. Now two astronomers based at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have found a hint of the way it behaves near black holes. Their results appear in a letter in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In the early Universe clumps of dark matter are thought to have attracted gas, which then...

2010-03-21 13:55:00

Scientists have found a massive galaxy in the early Universe creating stars like our sun up to 100 times faster than the modern-day Milky Way. The team of international researchers, led by Durham University, described the finding as like seeing "a teenager going through a growth spurt". Due to the amount of time it takes light to reach Earth the scientists observed the galaxy as it would have appeared 10 billion years ago "“ just three billion years after the Big Bang. They found four...

2010-03-17 13:20:00

Quasars are active and very powerful black holes at the center of distant galaxies. The black holes are extremely massive weighing between 100 million and 10 billion solar masses and rotating around the super massive black hole is a disc of gas and dust. The inner ring of the disc moves faster than the outer rings. The movement causes the material in the rings to rub against each other, heating it and causing it to emit light. Near to the black hole it becomes so hot that X-ray radiation is...

Latest Big Bang Reference Libraries

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
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.