Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category: Page 7

Jan 19, 2023

No-Show for Cosmic-Ray-Boosted, Lightweight Dark Matter

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Interactions with cosmic rays could make low-mass dark matter particles detectable by neutrino observatories. But an analysis of two decades’ worth of data shows no signs of the particles.

Jan 18, 2023

What Is Our Universe Expanding Into?

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, mapping

One question for Paul Sutter, author of “The Remarkable Emptiness of Existence,” an article in Nautilus this month. Sutter is a theoretical cosmologist at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University, where he studies cosmic voids, maps the leftover light from the big bang, and develops new techniques for finding the first stars to appear in the cosmos.

What is our universe expanding into?

That’s a great question. The answer, though, is that it’s not a great question. It’s a little tricky, so let me walk you through it. Yes, our universe is expanding. Our universe has no center and no edge. The Big Bang didn’t happen in one location in space. The Big Bang happened everywhere in the cosmos simultaneously. The Big Bang was not a point in space. It was a point in time. It exists in all of our paths.

Jan 17, 2023

A black hole devoured a star and created a Solar System-sized donut

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

New Hubble Space Telescope readings show the last moments of a star before it’s devoured by a black hole.

Astronomers used NASA’s iconic Hubble Space Telescope to record detailed observations of a star’s final moments before it was torn apart by a black hole.

As per a NASA blog post, the astronomers used Hubble to focus on the immense gravitational impact on the dying star.

Continue reading “A black hole devoured a star and created a Solar System-sized donut” »

Jan 16, 2023

The Center Of Our Galaxy May Be Way More Powerful Than We Thought, Say Scientists

Posted by in category: cosmology

There are few more beautiful sights than the orangey-red disk of our star, the Sun, sinking into the ocean. At sunset it seems a far cry from powerful, hot star we feel at midday and can’t even look at safely. If we were only able to view the Sun at sunset what would we think of it? It would be fair to conclude that it was far weaker than it actually is.

It could be a similar case for astronomers’ observations of the centers of galaxies, suggests a new study.

A new study indicates that scientists have substantially underestimated the energy output of supermassive black hole-powered active galactic nuclei.

Continue reading “The Center Of Our Galaxy May Be Way More Powerful Than We Thought, Say Scientists” »

Jan 16, 2023

Black hole ‘spaghettified’ a star into a doughnut shape, and astronomers captured the gory encounter

Posted by in category: cosmology

The black hole wrapped the layers of the shredded star around itself to form the perfect doughnut of doom.

Jan 16, 2023

Study finds active galactic nuclei are even more powerful than thought

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Powered by supermassive black holes swallowing matter in the centers of galaxies, active galactic nuclei are the most powerful compact steady sources of energy in the universe. The brightest active galactic nuclei have long been known to far outshine the combined light of the billions of stars in their host galaxies.

A new study indicates that scientists have substantially underestimated the energy output of these objects by not recognizing the extent to which their light is dimmed by dust.

“When there are intervening small particles along our line of sight, this makes things behind them look dimmer. We see this at sunset on any clear day when the sun looks fainter,” said Martin Gaskell, a research associate in astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.

Jan 15, 2023

NASA Captures Star Eaten

Posted by in categories: cosmology, ethics, policy

This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. has a disclosure and ethics policy. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has captured rare footage of a black hole eating up a start and creating a gas cloud that is as large as the solar system.

Jan 15, 2023

James Webb captures image of star formation in nearby galaxy

Posted by in category: cosmology

A stunning new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows a stellar nursery called NGC 346, which is not only beautiful but is also leading astronomers to rethink their theories about how stars and planets could have formed in the early universe.

The star cluster NGC 346 is a busy region full of star formation and is located in the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The composition of the Small Magellanic Cloud is rather different from that of the Milky Way, as it has fewer heavier elements. As dust is typically composed of these heavier elements, astronomers thought that there would be less dust in the Small Magellanic Cloud — but that’s not what Webb found.

Instead, Webb found abundant dust as well as hydrogen, which means this galaxy has the building blocks not only for stars but also for planets. This is interesting to astronomers who had wanted to study the Small Magellanic Cloud because its composition makes it similar to much older galaxies that existed in a period of the universe called the cosmic noon, around 2 to 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

Jan 14, 2023

We Live Inside A 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Bubble Whose Magnetism Has Been Mapped

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mapping

If anyone accuses you of “living in a bubble” there is an astronomically correct, if not always convincing, response: we all do. The Sun sits inside what is known as the Local Bubble, a space within the Milky Way galaxy some 1,000 light-years across in which interstellar material is scarce. It can be hard to map something from the inside, but that’s what astronomers have tried to do with the Local Bubble’s magnetic fields.

It’s easy to imagine that anything distinctive about our Solar System’s location must be connected to our apparent uniqueness. However, superbubbles like our own are not particularly rare; indeed, the galaxy has enough of them to prompt comparisons with Swiss cheese. They are left behind by supernova explosions that push gas and dust out of surrounding regions. The material swept out by the explosion concentrates on the bubble’s surface – still so thin it would be considered a vacuum by Earthly standards, but dense enough to trigger star formation.

Continue reading “We Live Inside A 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Bubble Whose Magnetism Has Been Mapped” »

Jan 12, 2023

Shocked scientists discover black hole continually feasting on same stars. ‘Puzzled’

Posted by in category: cosmology

New telescope imagery suggests that stars can survive encounters with black holes, a phenomenon that has been modeled but seldom observed, astronomers say. Using an X-ray telescope orbiting the Earth, astronomers peered 1 billion light-years into deep space and observed black holes partially destroying the same stars over and over, according to the European Space Agency.

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