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2008-01-25 06:48:37

A distant galaxy cluster has turned into a giant particle accelerator, spinning electrons over vast distances at high speeds. Scientists discovered this phenomenon by observing highly energetic X-rays emanating from the Ophiuchus cluster of galaxies. The European Space Agency's orbiting gamma-ray observatory Integral detected the X-rays, which are too energetic to originate from the inert gas in the cluster and must instead come from accelerated particles....

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2008-01-10 11:00:51

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a never-before-seen optical alignment in space: a pair of glowing rings, one nestled inside the other like a bull's-eye pattern. The double-ring pattern is caused by the complex bending of light from two distant galaxies strung directly behind a foreground massive galaxy, like three beads on a string. More than just a novelty, this very rare phenomenon can offer insight into dark matter, dark energy, the nature of distant galaxies, and even the...

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2007-12-17 12:05:00

With its powerful detectors, Integral has performed the most-sensitive all-sky survey ever, finding expected clumpy areas at large scales in our local universe. Scientists working with ground-based telescopes have found the same local clumps, while looking for sources of cosmic showers. Integral performed the survey in the hard X-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although it wasn't the first such survey, Integral's strength lies in the fact that it is unbiased towards sources that are...

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2007-05-24 09:50:00

When Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter proposed a static model of the universe in the early 1900s, he was some 3 trillion years ahead of his time. Now, physicists Lawrence Krauss from Case Western Reserve University and Robert J. Scherrer from Vanderbilt University predict that trillions of years into the future, the information that currently allows us to understand how the universe expands will have disappeared over the visible horizon. What remains will be "an island universe" made from...

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2007-04-26 05:16:39

If you've ever wondered about the ultimate fate of the universe, Lawrence Krauss and Robert Scherrer have some good news - sort of. In a paper published online on April 25 in the journal Physical Review D, the two physicists show that matter as we know it will remain as the universe expands at an ever-increasing clip. That is, the current status quo between matter and its alter ego, radiation, will continue as the newly discovered force of dark energy pushes the universe apart. "Diamonds may...

2007-04-02 15:35:21

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Using relic radiation from the birth of the universe, astrophysicists at the University of Illinois have proposed a new way of measuring the fine-structure constant in the past, and comparing it with today. By focusing on the absorption of the cosmic microwave background by atoms of neutral hydrogen, the researchers say, they could measure the fine-structure constant during the "dark ages," the time after the Big Bang before the first stars formed, when the universe...

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2007-02-26 15:50:00

Instrument to help astrophysicists learn what universe is made of, how it evolves Scientists aimed the South Pole Telescope at Jupiter on the evening of Feb. 16 and successfully collected the instrument's first test observations. Soon, far more distant quarry will fall under the SPT's sights as a team from nine institutions tackles one of the biggest mysteries of modern cosmological research. That mystery: What is dark energy, the force that dominates the universe? "The telescope, camera and...

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2007-02-12 09:27:02

Using a map of more than 4,000 luminous quasars in the distant universe, scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II) have shown that these brilliant beacons are strongly clumped, with huge quasar superclusters separated by vast stretches of empty space. The strong clustering shows that the quasars lie within massive concentrations of dark matter. "Previous maps showed that more nearby quasars cluster like 'normal' galaxies," explained Princeton University graduate student Yue...

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2007-02-02 15:30:00

MADISON - Peering backward in time to an instant after the big bang, physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised an approach that may help unlock the hidden shapes of alternate dimensions of the universe. A new study demonstrates that the shapes of extra dimensions can be "seen" by deciphering their influence on cosmic energy released by the violent birth of the universe 13 billion years ago. The method, published today (Feb. 2) in Physical Review Letters, provides...

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2006-11-17 08:10:00

Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that dark energy is not a new constituent of space, but rather has been present for most of the universe's history. Dark energy is a mysterious repulsive force that causes the universe to expand at an increasing rate. Investigators used Hubble to find that dark energy was already boosting the expansion rate of the universe as long as nine billion years ago. This picture of dark energy is consistent with Albert Einstein's...


Latest Big Bang Reference Libraries

Cosmology
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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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