Cosmos (category filter × )

Huge explosion, second only to the Big Bang, discovered 390 million light years from Earth
  • Astronomers have detected the second largest explosion in the universe after the Big Bang.
  • It happened 390 million light years from Earth, and was so powerful that you could “fit 15 Milky Way galaxies” into the cosmic hole that it created.
  • Four radio telescopes in different locations across the Earth were necessary to uncover this, and it’s compared to the discovery of the first dinosaur bones.
  • The telescopes aren’t even at full capacity yet, and once they are, astronomers predict they’ll discover more cosmic events like this.

Astronomers witness the dragging of space-time in stellar cosmic dance
  • By closely tracking light coming off a pulsar in the PSR J1141-6545 system, scientists have confirmed another prediction from Einstein’s General Relativity theory.
  • The system consists of a pulsar and a white dwarf that’s 100 billion times as dense as Earth, which makes it particularly interesting for studying relativity.
  • It took 20 years of gathering data with the CSIRO Parkes 64-metre radio telescope, and a team of scientists to untangle the mysteries hidden in the data.
  • The mystery was uncovered by treating the pulsar as a clock, which enabled the team to find evidence of frame-dragging.
  • Frame-dragging is the twisting of space and time that occurs due to the spin of celestial bodies.

Huge black hole found, shouldn’t even exist
  • Chinese scientists found an elusive type of black hole by studying X-rays in an attempt to find stars orbiting an invisible object.
  • LB-1 is a stellar black hole with a mass equal to 70 Suns, 15,000 light years away.
  • What’s interesting, is that the theoretical mass limit for this type of black hole was capped at 20 Suns before this discovery.
  • This throws a wrench into black hole theory, and explaining this phenomenon could be a crucial step towards new discoveries about black holes.

NASA has found sugar in meteorites that crashed to Earth
  • Analysis of 3 meteorites shows that they contain arabinose, xylose and ribose.
  • Ribose also exists in our RNA, which is additional proof that the ingredients for life on Earth may have come to our planet on meteorites.
  • This discovery is the first evidence of ribose in space, as well as the process of delivering sugar to Earth.

Physicists Just Created the Most Detailed Simulation of the Universe in History
  • After over a year of simulations run on a 16,000-processor core supercomputer, the most detailed model of the Universe’s expansion has been created.
  • The model is ~230 million light-years wide, with tens of thousands of evolving galaxies.
  • Among the findings are new, previously unstudied, phenomena that were not explicitly programmed into the simulation.
  • The simulation shows exactly how galaxies formed from clouds of gas after the Big Bang.




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