Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category

Jun 17, 2024

China’s Moon Mission Could Reveal the Origins of Life on Earth

Posted by in category: cosmology

China´s Moon Mission May Reveal the Origin of Life on Earth Blog posted on Big Think, direct link on

Jun 17, 2024

NASA Releases Video of What It’s Like to Fall Into a Black Hole

Posted by in category: cosmology

“Stellar-mass black holes, which contain up to about 30 solar masses, possess much smaller event horizons and stronger tidal forces, which can rip apart approaching objects before they get to the horizon.”

The simulated black hole is designed to imitate the supermassive one at the heart of our galaxy, which has a mass over 4.3 million times that of our Sun. That is almost unfathomably large: the distant view of it you see in the visualizer is from nearly 400 million miles away.

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Jun 17, 2024

Dark Energy comes from Anti-Universe, New Theory Says

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

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Jun 17, 2024

New Simulation Explains how Supermassive Black Holes Grew so Quickly

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mapping, physics

One of the main scientific objectives of next-generation observatories (like the James Webb Space Telescope) has been to observe the first galaxies in the Universe – those that existed at Cosmic Dawn. This period is when the first stars, galaxies, and black holes in our Universe formed, roughly 50 million to 1 billion years after the Big Bang. By examining how these galaxies formed and evolved during the earliest cosmological periods, astronomers will have a complete picture of how the Universe has changed with time.

As addressed in previous articles, the results of Webb’s most distant observations have turned up a few surprises. In addition to revealing that galaxies formed rapidly in the early Universe, astronomers also noticed these galaxies had particularly massive supermassive black holes (SMBH) at their centers. This was particularly confounding since, according to conventional models, these galaxies and black holes didn’t have enough time to form. In a recent study, a team led by Penn State astronomers has developed a model that could explain how SMBHs grew so quickly in the early Universe.

The research team was led by W. Niel Brandt, the Eberly Family Chair Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State’s Eberly College of Science. Their research is described in two papers presented at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS224), which took place from June 9th to June 13th in Madison, Wisconsin. Their first paper, “Mapping the Growth of Supermassive Black Holes as a Function of Galaxy Stellar Mass and Redshift,” appeared on March 29th in The Astrophysical Journal, while the second is pending publication. Fan Zou, an Eberly College graduate student, was the lead author of both papers.

Jun 17, 2024

Nova explosion of nearby star will soon light up Earth’s skies

Posted by in category: cosmology

The vast expanse of the night sky, a canvas dotted with countless stars, is about to unveil a rare and spectacular phenomenon. Brace yourself for a stellar light show as T Coronae Borealis, a seemingly unremarkable star nestled within the constellation Corona Borealis, is on the brink of a dramatic nova explosion.

T Coronae Borealis, affectionately known as T CrB, is no ordinary star. It’s a binary system, a celestial pattern of two stars locked in a gravitational embrace.

At the heart of this cosmic process lies a white dwarf, the incredibly dense remnant of a once-mighty star. Its partner, a bloated red giant, is in the twilight years of its existence, slowly shedding its outer layers under the relentless pull of the white dwarf’s gravity.

Jun 16, 2024

Strange Discoveries About Dark Matter Including Immortal Stars

Posted by in category: cosmology

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Jun 16, 2024

Is Dark Energy Decaying?

Posted by in category: cosmology

Brian Greene and Michael Levi discuss revolutionary observations that may upend our cosmological understanding.

This program is part of the Big Ideas series, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Jun 16, 2024

Using Wobbling Stellar Material, astronomers measure the Spin of a Supermassive Black Hole for the first time

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

Astronomers at MIT, NASA, and elsewhere have a new way to measure how fast a black hole spins, by using the wobbly aftermath from its stellar feasting.

The method takes advantage of a black hole tidal disruption event—a blazingly bright moment when a black hole exerts tides on a passing star and rips it to shreds. As the star is disrupted by the black hole’s immense tidal forces, half of the star is blown away, while the other half is flung around the black hole, generating an intensely hot accretion disk of rotating stellar material.

The MIT-led team has shown that the wobble of the newly created accretion disk is key to working out the central black hole’s inherent spin.

Jun 15, 2024

‘Supercharged rhino’ black holes may have formed and died a second after the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, futurism

Related: If the Big Bang created miniature black holes, where are they?

The research team thinks that super-color-charged black holes may have impacted the balance of fusing nuclei in the infant universe. Though the exotic objects ceased to exist in the first moments of the cosmos, future astronomers could potentially still detect this influence.

“Even though these short-lived, exotic creatures are not around today, they could have affected cosmic history in ways that could show up in subtle signals today,” study co-author David Kaiser, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said in a statement.

Jun 15, 2024

12 billion years of black hole history, revealed through X-rays and simulations

Posted by in category: cosmology

Now, however, astronomers Fan Zou and W. Niel Brandt, both of Penn State University, have led a team that connected the two mechanisms of black-hole growth from observations and simulations. The results may provide some answers at last.

Related: NASA telescope spots ‘cosmic fireworks’ and faint echos from the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

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