Supernovae

Category archives for Supernovae

Dark Energy: Gaining a Foothold (Part 2)

Last time, we talked about the discovery of dark energy. How did it happen? Well, there are certain kinds of Supernovae, type Ia supernovae, that are practically identical to one another all across the Universe. In fact, we had one happen in our own galaxy in 1572; it outshone everything besides the Moon in the…

By the 1990s, we knew an awful lot about the Universe. You can check out what the greatest discoveries were (in my opinion) from the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. By this point, we understood the origin of the Universe as well as we understand it today, knew about dark matter…

By the 1980s, our view of the Universe was pretty close to what it is today. We had confirmed the Big Bang Theory and even had some understanding of what must’ve caused the Big Bang. There were some mysteries around, such as dark matter, the age of the Universe, and the solar neutrino problem, but…

Making the Elements in the Universe

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the heavier elements in the Universe were made. Specifically, that they are made in stars. These stars then explode in a variety of ways, enriching the Universe with these heavy elements, and allowing us to form glorious things, like our planet! By contrast, the big bang makes light…

There are many great discoveries that happened in the 1930s that changed our view of the Universe. From tiny discoveries (the neutron) to huge ones (Pluto), from theoretical explanations of antimatter to the neutrino to the start of quantum field theory, the 1930s were a great time for making new discoveries. But one man often…

It is done! The longest-running and most famous camera in the world, Hubble’s WFPC2, has been removed and replaced. Scientists will now get to use the Wide-Field Camera 3 (below), and WFPC2 is headed to the Smithsonian. You’ve already gotten a chance to taste what WFPC2 has done for our understanding of the Universe, Planets,…

A Beacon from the Invisible Universe

Stars are like everything else in the Universe (to quote E.B. White): we’re born, we live a little while, we die. The thing that people may not realize is this: stars have been doing this since before the Universe was visible! What do I mean by this? Take a look at this nebula, Barnard 68.…

The Hand of God in Space?

Someone at the New York Daily News must have started celebrating April 20th a bit early. Because this beautiful supernova remnant, with a spinning, pulsing neutron star at the center: is no excuse to run a poll asking readers if this is either the Hand of God or a natural stellar formation. I could tell…

Is Uranium the Heaviest Natural Element?

Last night, I was watching the Daily Show, and they had Tom Zoellner on, talking about his new book: Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock that shaped the world. There are certainly a lot of interesting things about Uranium in culture, particularly in terms of energy (hey, we can use this thing to power the…