The Early Universe’s Most Massive Galaxy Cluster Revealed (Synopsis)

“If you take a galaxy and try to make it bigger, it becomes a cluster of galaxies, not a galaxy. If you try to make it smaller than that, it seems to blow itself apart.” -Jeremiah P. Ostriker 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it was born with no stars, no clusters … Read moreThe Early Universe’s Most Massive Galaxy Cluster Revealed (Synopsis)

Comments of the Week #93: from interstellar travel to an unknown monster

“Observing quasars is like observing the exhaust fumes of a car from a great distance and then trying to figure out what is going on under the hood.” -Carole Mundell Have you been tunes in to Starts With A Bang during this past week? The first full week of January brings with it the annual American Astronomical Society’s … Read moreComments of the Week #93: from interstellar travel to an unknown monster

Ask Ethan: How Can We Know If North Korea Is Testing Nuclear Bombs? (Synopsis)

“In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show.” -Wilfred Burchett The news has been aflame with reports that North Korea detonated … Read moreAsk Ethan: How Can We Know If North Korea Is Testing Nuclear Bombs? (Synopsis)

The First All-Sky Extreme Energy Map Reveals An Unknown Monster In Our Galaxy (Synopsis)

“I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich.” -Michael Faraday With the launch of the Fermi satellite in the late 2000s, we began observing the highest energy photons in the Universe — gamma rays — … Read moreThe First All-Sky Extreme Energy Map Reveals An Unknown Monster In Our Galaxy (Synopsis)

Why cosmic inflation’s last great prediction may fail (Synopsis)

“The paradigm of physics — with its interplay of data, theory and prediction — is the most powerful in science.” –Geoffrey West Cosmic inflation, our earliest theory of the Universe and the phenomenon that sets up the Big Bang, didn’t just explain a number of puzzles, but made a slew of new predictions for the Universe. In the subsequent … Read moreWhy cosmic inflation’s last great prediction may fail (Synopsis)

Why Are Pluto And Charon So Different? (Synopsis)

“Just as a Chihuahua is still a dog, these ice dwarfs are still planetary bodies. The misfit becomes the average. The Pluto-like objects are more typical in our solar system than the nearby planets we first knew.” -Alan Stern When New Horizons approached the Pluto system last year, it discovered two vastly different worlds in … Read moreWhy Are Pluto And Charon So Different? (Synopsis)

The closest star system to us doesn’t have any planets (yet), after all

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.” -Samuel Beckett In 2012, astronomers announced that the nearest star system to us, the Alpha Centauri system, possessed at least one exoplanet around it. A periodic signal that recurred just every 3.24 days was consistent with an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting and gravitationally tugging on the second largest … Read moreThe closest star system to us doesn’t have any planets (yet), after all

A Distant Galaxy Cluster Reveals The Power Of Einstein’s Gravity (Synopsis)

“Gravitational and electromagnetic interactions are long-range interactions, meaning they act on objects no matter how far they are separated from each other.” -Francois Englert One of the most spectacular predictions of Einstein’s General Relativity was the existence of gravitational lensing, whereby a large foreground mass could act as a lens, magnifying and distorting the background … Read moreA Distant Galaxy Cluster Reveals The Power Of Einstein’s Gravity (Synopsis)

Comments of the Week #92: from the Universe’s birth to ten decades of science

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” -Oprah And 2016 is here! So begins another great year for Starts With A Bang, and I’m so pleased you’re still here as well. Yes, I know there are some frustrations with Forbes’ … Read moreComments of the Week #92: from the Universe’s birth to ten decades of science