If you truly want to understand modern astrophysics, knowing how to read this graph is essential.
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One single plot of data embodies the most profound thing we know about the stars.
After 100 million nights of people asking, "What are those twinkly lights?" it is pretty remarkable that we happen to live in one of the first generations that actually knows the answer.
Our Sun will continue to grow, becoming a red giant and then a planetary nebula. Here's how large it will get.
Have any of the stars we can see burned themselves out completely? When we look out across the Universe, we’re also peering back in time. In the early 21st-century, we’ve […]
Did the Milky Way form by slowly accreting matter or by devouring its neighboring galaxies? At last, we're uncovering our own history.
It's been precisely 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang occurred. Here's how we know.
It’s 13.8 billion years old, with an uncertainty of just 1%. Here’s how. How old is the Universe? For generations, people argued over whether the Universe had always existed, whether it […]
Some of them may have formed just 200 million years after the Big Bang. When we look out at the Universe, we’re not seeing objects as they are today, but rather […]
Within the next billion years, the Magellanic Clouds might merge with our galaxy. But the new stars are already here. Within the Milky Way, there are only a few instances of […]
Remarkable 'fan art' commemorates 50th anniversary of legendary guitar player's passing.
As more data comes in, the puzzle gets deeper and deeper. Whenever you set out to solve a problem, there are a series of steps you have to take in order […]
There really is a cosmic conundrum about how fast the Universe is expanding. Changing its age won’t help. One of the most surprising and interesting discoveries of the 21st century is […]
LIGO and Virgo have now detected a total of 11 binary merger events. But exactly 0 were in the Milky Way. Here’s why. One of the most spectacular recent advances in […]
Gravity gets weaker as the distance squared. But gravitational waves only get weaker as the distance. Why? One of the things we often just accept about the world is that […]
With a total of 10 black holes detected, what we’ve learned about the Universe is truly amazing. On September 14th, 2015, just days after LIGO first turned on at its new-and-improved […]
But if a radical new idea comes to fruition, maybe we can find them after all. After decades of planning, building, prototyping, upgrading, and calibrating, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) […]
Who were the most divisive Americans?
Humanity has mapped the Milky Way better than ever with ESA’s Gaia. But 1.7 billion stars later, there are still no Dyson spheres. Perhaps the greatest ‘holy grail’ in all of […]
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has cancelled an upcoming trip to an economic conference in Saudi Arabia amid the controversy involving missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Very sure. Here’s how we know. You’ve no doubt heard that the Universe itself has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, and that scientists are extremely confident […]
For the first time, the gravitational wave sky and the astronomical sky might be coming together. It’s a new era, at long last. “Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions […]
Haley, who's at times been both a supporter and critic of the president, reportedly "shocked" White House officials by announcing the end of her two-year tenure as a U.N. ambassador.
Are we about to make a breakthrough to go beyond black holes? Here’s what it means if we do! “It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only […]
IFLS might be fun for the armchair enthusiast, but couldn’t you have at least consulted an expert? “You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.”–Saru, from Star Trek: Discovery With […]
You know what a black hole is, and we’ve found a few so far. But oh, are there ever so many more out there! “Black holes are the seductive dragons of […]
You may have heard of Laniakea, but don’t count on it being real. “It’s the gravity that shapes the large scale structure of the universe, even though it is the weakest […]
These ten characters have all had a huge influence on psychology. Their stories continue to intrigue those interested in personality and identity, nature and nurture, and the links between mind and body.
13.8 billion years is a great number. But how sure are we of this, and how did we get there? “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We […]
The stars, gas, nebulae and dust in our galactic plane make it impossible to see through. But there are other forms of light. “Vision is the art of seeing what is […]