Astronomers have been baffled by the disappearance of a massive star they had been observing. They now wonder whether the distant object collapsed to form a black hole without exploding in a supernova.
Astronomers say big cool patches on a "supergiant" star close to Earth were behind its surprise dimming last year. Red giant stars like Betelgeuse frequently undergo changes in brightness, but the drop to 40% of its normal value between October 2019 and April 2020 surprised astronomers.
Behold the hot, energetic Universe. The image records a lot of the violent action in the cosmos - instances where matter is being accelerated, heated and shredded.
An experiment searching for signs of elusive dark matter has detected an unexplained signal. Scientists working on the Xenon1T experiment have detected more activity within their detector than they would otherwise expect.
The Boltzmann brain argument suggests that it is more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form in a void (complete with a false memory of having existed in our universe) than it is for our universe to have come about in the way modern science thinks it actually did.
Scientists have detected a cosmic "pileup" of galaxies in the early Universe. Imaged almost at the boundary of the observable Universe, the 14 unusually bright objects are on a collision course, set to form one massive galaxy.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is "warped and twisted" and not flat as previously thought, new research shows. Analysis of the brightest stars in the galaxy shows that they do not lie on a flat plane as shown in academic texts and popular science books.
Astronomers have a new candidate in their search for the nearest black hole to Earth. It's about 1,000 light-years away, or roughly 9.5 thousand, million, million km, in the Constellation Telescopium.
The idea that other universes - as well as our own - lie within "bubbles" of space and time has received a boost. Studies of the low-temperature glow left from the Big Bang suggest that several of these "bubble universes" may have left marks on our own.
It might not look like much, but this image represents one of the most distant objects astronomers have ever seen, 12.9 billion light years away. It is a "Lyman-alpha blob" and is 55,000 light years across - as large as present-day galaxies.
One of the 21st Century's grand scientific undertakings has begun its quest to view the "Cosmic Dawn". The Atacama large milllimetre/submillimetre array (Alma) in Chile is the largest, most complex telescope ever built.
Scientists believe the blast, which was detected by Nasa's Swift space observatory, occurred a mere 520 million years after the Big Bang. This means its light has taken a staggering 13.14 billion years to reach Earth.
Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted. Renowned cosmologist Roger Penrose said that analysis of this cosmic microwave background showed echoes of previous Big Bang-like events.
It couldn't have been planned better.
Researchers have developed a simple technique that adds evidence to the theory that the Universe is flat. Moreover, the method - developed by revisiting a 30-year-old idea - confirms that "dark energy" makes up nearly three-quarters of the Universe.
Scientists are looking to relocate an underground experiment searching for dark matter to an even deeper site. Cosmic rays striking the Earth could completely mask the rare dark matter events sought by the experiment.
Unexplained "filaments" of radio-wave emission close to our galaxy's centre may hold proof of the existence of dark matter, researchers have said. Dark matter is believed to make up most of the mass of our Universe, but it has yet to be definitively spotted.
Instead of invoking dark matter, the Modified Newtonian Dynamics theory says that the effects of gravity change in places where its pull is very low. The new paper suggests that Mond better predicts the relationship between gassy galaxies' rotation speeds and masses.
Researchers have come up with a way to glimpse the infant Universe by decoding the earliest ripples in its light. They say this can be achieved by capturing the specific radio wavelength of 21cm from the heavens.
Scientists' predictions about the mysterious dark matter purported to make up most of the mass of the Universe may have to be revised. Research on dwarf galaxies suggests they cannot form in the way they do if dark matter exists in the form that the most common model requires it to.
The Fermi space telescope has yielded the most detailed gamma ray map of the sky - representing the Universe's most violent and extreme processes. The telescope's newest results, as well as the map, were described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome this week.
Tulane physicist Frank Tipler committed professional heresy by publishing The Physics of Immortality, a book in which he used the scientific method and the principles of modern physics to lay out what he called a proof for not only the existence of God, but for the resurrection of the dead as descri
A team of physicists has claimed that our view of the early Universe may contain the signature of a time before the Big Bang. The discovery comes from studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB), light emitted when the Universe was just 400,000 years old.
Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are getting set to create the Big Bang on a miniature scale. Since 2009, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator has been smashing together protons, in a bid to shed light on the fundamental nature of matter.
Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia. It contains the element nitrogen, found in the proteins and DNA that form the basis of life as we know it.
The idea rests on probing any minuscule variations in gravity as it acts on slow-moving neutrons in a tiny cavity. These quantum jumps can test Newton's theory of gravity - and any variations from it - with unprecedented precision.
Anti-matter is rare today; it can be produced in "atom smashers", in nuclear reactions or by cosmic rays. But physicists think the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and its opposite.
Physicists have taken a step forward in their efforts to understand why the Universe is dominated by matter, and not its shadowy opposite antimatter. The results show that certain matter particles decay differently from their antimatter counterparts.
Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize.
This is the extraordinary place where we all live - the Universe. The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the "oldest light" in the cosmos.
The European telescope sent far from Earth to study the oldest light in the Universe has returned its first images. The Planck observatory, launched in May, is surveying radiation that first swept out across space just 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Scientists have detected the largest molecules ever seen in space, in a cloud of cosmic dust surrounding a distant star. The football-shaped carbon molecules are known as buckyballs, and were only discovered on Earth 25 years ago when they were made in a laboratory.
The belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.
There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said. He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.
Researchers in the US say they have detected two signals which could possibly indicate the presence of particles of dark matter. But the study in Science journal reports the statistical likelihood of a detection of dark matter as 23%.
US scientists have reported the detection of signals that could indicate the presence of dark matter. The main announcement came from the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.
People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject.
The ultimate fate of the universe is a topic in physical cosmology, whose theoretical restrictions allow possible scenarios for the evolution and ultimate fate of the universe to be described and evaluated.
The measurements were made using a very sensitive telescope suspended from a balloon 40,000 metres (131,000 feet) above Antarctica. The instrument flew around the frozen continent between 29 December 1998 and 8 January 1999. It has taken since then to process the one billion measurements.
For budding time travellers, the future (or should that be the past?) is starting to look bleak. Hypothetical tunnels called wormholes once looked like the best bet for constructing a real time machine.
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Sign Up on Patreon to get access to the Space Time Discord! https://www.patreon.com/pbsspacetime Check out the Space Time Merch Store https://pbsspacetime.com/ The three body problem is famous for being impossible to solve. But actually it's been solved many times, and in ingenious ways. Some of
Have you ever asked “what is beyond the edge of the universe?” And have you ever been told that an infinite universe that has no edge? You were told wrong. In a sense. We can define a boundary to an infinite universe, at least mathematically. And it turns out that boundary may be as real or even
Was an incredible drop in entropy responsible for the Big Bang? If that’s the case, this would lead us to conclude that a great many other things are possible, including the likelihood that you are a Boltzmann Brain. Try The Great Courses Plus at http://ow.ly/4anY30acloOYou can further support us
Astronomers have been able to test two key consequences of Einstein's theories by studying the way a couple of black holes move around each other.
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Stars, galaxies, planets, pretty much everything that makes up our everyday lives owes its existence to a cosmic quirk. The nature of this quirk, which allowed matter to dominate the Universe at the expense of antimatter, remains a mystery.
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