Science uncovers the origin of the first light in the Universe (Synopsis)

“By its very nature science knows no boundaries. Walling off any group, for any reason, from full participation damages the entire enterprise of science. We must be scientists without borders.” -Rocky Kolb We normally think of “let there be light” as when the Universe got its start. In a particular sense, this is true, since … Read moreScience uncovers the origin of the first light in the Universe (Synopsis)

Dark Matter Theory Triumphs In Sweeping New Study (Synopsis)

“Space and time may have a structure as intricate as the fauna of a rich ecosystem, but on a scale far larger than the horizon of our observations.” -Martin Rees On the largest scales, dark matter has been undoubtedly the most successful theory in modern cosmology for explaining a huge variety of observations. From the … Read moreDark Matter Theory Triumphs In Sweeping New Study (Synopsis)

How uncertain are LIGO’s first gravitational wave detections? (Synopsis)

“We hope that interested people will repeat our calculations and will make up their own minds regarding the significance of the results. It is obvious that “belief” is never an alternative to “understanding” in physics.” -J. Creswell et al. Three times now, the LIGO collaboration has produced very strong evidence that black hole pairs, from … Read moreHow uncertain are LIGO’s first gravitational wave detections? (Synopsis)

Seven Things You Must Anticipate For The 2017 Solar Eclipse (Synopsis)

“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” -Victor Hugo On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Earth and … Read moreSeven Things You Must Anticipate For The 2017 Solar Eclipse (Synopsis)

How quickly are the Pillars of Creation being destroyed? (Synopsis)

“There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything.” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyways.” Either way, nothing happens.” -Yvon Chouinard Are the beautiful and iconic Pillars of Creation, located deep within the Eagle Nebula, still around today? … Read moreHow quickly are the Pillars of Creation being destroyed? (Synopsis)

Comments of the Week #166: from expanding faster than light to periodic mass extinctions

“Already in my original paper I stressed the circumstance that I was unable to give a logical reason for the exclusion principle or to deduce it from more general assumptions. I had always the feeling, and I still have it today, that this is a deficiency.” -Wolfgang Pauli There’s never a shortage of scientific topics … Read moreComments of the Week #166: from expanding faster than light to periodic mass extinctions

Are Mass Extinctions Periodic, And Are We Due For One? (Synopsis)

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens 65 million years ago, a catastrophic impact from outer space caused the last great mass extinction on Earth, destroying 30% of the species that lived on our world at the time. These mass extinction events happened many times in Earth’s past, … Read moreAre Mass Extinctions Periodic, And Are We Due For One? (Synopsis)

LIGO’s Successor Approved; Will Discover Incredible New Sources Of Gravitational Waves (Synopsis)

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard Feynman There’s no doubt that LIGO has given us one of the most incredible breakthroughs of the 21st century: the direct detection … Read moreLIGO’s Successor Approved; Will Discover Incredible New Sources Of Gravitational Waves (Synopsis)

Goodbye, Planet Nine! New And Better Data Disfavors A Giant World Beyond Neptune (Synopsis)

“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there.” -Konstantin Batygin Last year, scientists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown made a huge splash when they announced that … Read moreGoodbye, Planet Nine! New And Better Data Disfavors A Giant World Beyond Neptune (Synopsis)