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 more

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 more

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 more

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 more

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 more