Latest Big Bang Stories
By Cowen, Ron Scientists propose tests of Copernican principle For all the hand wringing among physicists about the nature of dark energy, the invisible stuff that appears to be revving up the rate of cosmic expansion, a nagging possibility remains.
In recent studies, physicists may have not only found a new model for the creation of our universe, they may also have found an entirely new view on time altogether.
The future of fundamental physics research lies in observing the early universe and developing models that explain the new data obtained.
Although the universe contains billions of galaxies, only a small amount of its matter is locked up in these behemoths. Most of the universe's matter that was created during and just after the Big Bang must be found elsewhere.
Astronomers have made use of ESO's Very Large Telescope to detect for the first time in the ultraviolet the carbon monoxide molecule in a galaxy located almost 11 billion light-years away, a feat that had remained elusive for 25 years. This detection allows them to obtain the most precise measurement of the cosmic temperature at such a remote epoch.
Astronomers looking at galaxies in the universe's distant past found nine young, compact galaxies, each weighing in at 200 billion times the mass of the Sun. The galaxies, each only 5,000 light-years across, are a fraction of the size of today's grownup galaxies.
But gravitational waves may be more sensitive probe of early universe physics than previously thought
UK astronomers have produced the most sensitive infrared map of the distant Universe ever undertaken. Combining data over a period of three years, they have produced an image containing over 100,000 galaxies over an area four times the size of the full Moon.
Using the most sensitive images ever obtained with the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope (UKIRT), astronomers have found convincing evidence that galaxies which look old early in the history of the Universe reside in enormous clouds of invisible dark matter and will eventually evolve into the most massive galaxies that exist in the present day.
New measurements from some of the most distant galaxies bolster the evidence that the strongest burst of star formation in the history of the Universe occurred about two billion years after the Big Bang.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
- A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.