Astronomy

Category archives for Astronomy

“The discovery that young galaxies are so unexpectedly bright–if you look for this distinctive green light–will dramatically change and improve the way that we study Galaxy formation throughout the history of the Universe.” -Matthew Malkan Galaxies come in many different colors today: white, blue or red, mostly, depending on the populations of stars inside. But…

“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” -Stephen Hawking Well, the first week of the year is behind us here at Starts With A Bang! For most people, that means struggling to return from a long holiday break, but in the world of astronomy that means we’ve just come back from an incredible week of science…

“Other galaxies like Andromeda are shooting these ‘spitballs’ at us all the time.” -James Guillochon, coauthor on the new study Imagine you’re a star passing too close to a black hole. What’s going to happen to you? Yes, you’ll be tidally disrupted and eventually torn apart. Some of the matter will be swallowed, some will…

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital…

“The mystery about α is actually a double mystery. The first mystery – the origin of its numerical value α ≈ 1/137 has been recognized and discussed for decades. The second mystery – the range of its domain – is generally unrecognized.” -Malcolm H. MacGregor We assume that the fundamental constants are truly constant, but…

“Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a hideout, every word also a mask.” -Friedrich Nietzsche If you want to see all the way back to the Big Bang — to the cosmic microwave background — that means looking back through billions of light years worth of space. While individual point sources…

“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.” –Clayton Christensen If all we had were galactic rotation curves — like those measured by Vera Rubin — we would know that something was wrong with our picture of the Universe, but we wouldn’t know how. Two equally good explanations, that there was either a flaw in…

“Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions.” -Vera Rubin When you look at a galaxy in the night sky, it’s easy to imagine that it’s just a system of masses like our Solar System, except on a larger scale. Instead of a single, central mass, you have many stars responsible for…

“It’s the first time the universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves, up to now we’ve been deaf to them.” -Dave Reitze No doubt about it: the greatest science advance of 2016 was the end of the century-long wait for the first direct detection of gravitational waves. Not only were we able to detect…

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” -Edgar Allan Poe No matter where you look in the night sky, a powerful enough telescope appears to reveal points of light. Even if you find a region with no stars in the Milky…