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“Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, and fate of objects in the observable universe. […] The key to the birth and evolution of such objects lies in the primordial ripples observed through light shining through from the early universe.” -Wayne Hu The Big Bang’s leftover glow — the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — is…

“The pressure to compete, the fear somebody else will make the splash first, creates a frenzied environment in which a blizzard of information is presented and serious questions may not be raised.” -Carl Bernstein Why is our Moon so unlike every other moon in the Solar System? No other moon is such a large percent…

“All we know so far is what doesn’t work.” -Richard Feynman The past month has seen a slew of papers out highlighting the tension between modified gravity and dark matter. Both recognize the same puzzles and problems with the Universe, and both ideas recognize that either one could be valid. In fact, if you look…

“Cassini is different — it’s a mission of enormous scope and is being conducted in grand style. It is much more sophisticated than Voyager, … I can’t say it’s got that flavor of romance, though. Voyager was very romantic. Cassini is spectacular.” -Carolyn Porco It was a big enough mystery when Saturn’s hexagon was first…

“Weightlessness was unbelievable. It’s physical euphoria: Nothing about you has any weight. You don’t realize that you are weighed down all the time by yourself, and your organs, and your head. Your arms weigh down your shoulders. In space simulation, you get to fly like Superman! You’re hanging in the air! It’s the coolest thing.”…

“This isn’t my life anymore, Mulder. I’m done chasing monsters in the dark.” -Dana Scully, X-files One of the most exciting things a scientist can experience is when they look at a sample of data, expecting to not see a particular exciting effect, and yet, something’s there. Immediately, you have to check yourself: what are…

“All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.” -Tacitus Dark matter makes up the overwhelming majority of mass in the Universe. With five times as much of it as there is normal matter, and the fact that it…

“Even if I stumble on to the absolute truth of any aspect of the universe, I will not realise my luck and instead will spend my life trying to find flaws in this understanding – such is the role of a scientist.” -Brian Schmidt Just a few days ago, a new paper was published in…

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” -J. K. Galbraith Last month, tensions between dark matter simulations and galactic rotation observations reached a new high. Despite all the successes of dark matter on the largest scales —…

“Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?” -Michael Shermer One of the problems with the Standard Model of particle physics is known as the hierarchy problem. If you were to calculate the masses of the fundamental particles…