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Testing Relativity With Nothing

There are two big problems with astrophysics, and they are called dark energy and dark matter. Dark energy is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Dark matter keeps the galaxies together, and we think it’s made of particles which don’t emit any light. We don’t know exactly what they are made of, but…

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A Ghostly Cradle Of Stars

If you wonder where we came from and how we got here, there’s a step we are quite confident on. About 5 billions of years ago, before the Sun shone a single ray all the atoms you are made of were part of a large gas cloud like the one in the picture. The object…

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A Galaxy Interaction That Deceives The Eyes

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope photograph is one of my favourite images of interacting galaxies, but it’s actually a bit of a cheat. The galaxies are not interacting at all. The galaxies are simply in a chance alignment from our vantage point, and that’s how Hubble was able to produce such a breathtaking image. The…

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Mergers in G-Major

There has been a surprising affinity between astronomy and music. Both needed the inspiration of the muses to be performed in Ancient Greece, and expressions like the Music of the Spheres just shows the profound link between these two realms of human genius. In space, nobody can hear you scream, but it didn’t stop Coltrane…

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See A Baby Star Hatching From Its Birth Cloud

A new-born star cloaked in a golden veil stands starkly against the black filament of the Circinus cloud. While it might sound like the beginning of a fantasy novel, this is simply the description of this spectacular Hubble Image The Space Telescope caught a phenomenal view of a young star, IRAS 14568-6304, as it emerges…

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More On Gravitational Waves

In a previous post, we discussed the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves and it’s importance for science as a whole. Now LIGO has observed another detection, and it has the incredible feature of being the first direct observation of a spinning black hole. The merging objects are also smaller (8 and 14 solar masses) but…

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Crazy Ways To Reach The Stars – SpaceUp:UK

Do you think the stars are too far away for your liking? Then this is perfect for you! In this talk, I cover very briefly all the potential solutions to take humanity from home to Alpha Centauri and beyond. I discuss Breakthrough propulsion systems Em Drive Wormholes the Alcubierre Drive The Starshot project The idea…