Cracking the Moon

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The Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) is the largest of the lunar maria (seas) covering roughly 4 million square kilometers (about the surface area of the EU). Its wide...
Artist’s impression of the merger of two neutron stars. Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

Gravitational Waves Were Used To Look Inside Neutron Stars

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Last October, scientists witnessed the first neutron star collision thanks to gravitational wave observations and the subsequent use of regular telescopes. Those observations were the first step towards a...

The first measurement of an exoplanet day.

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Dutch Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope were able to measure the rotational speed of a planet outside the Solar System for the first time. Ignas Snellen and his colleagues...

The Very Hungry Supermassive Black Hole

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We all get the munchies, but when you're a supermassive black hole (SMBH) your hunger might have dire consequences. And just like that an SMBH has outgrown its galaxy and jumped to the top of the heavyweight objects in the universe. About 12 billion light years from us, there is a galaxy called CID-947. It has a mass similar to our own Milky Way (about 1000 billion times the mass of the Sun) and it was only remarkable because it had an active galactic nucleus (AGN, i.e. an accreting SMBH).

Negative mass could theoretically exists in our Universe

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Saoussen Mbarek and Manu Paranjape at the Université de Montréal in Canada have published a paper that details the conditions for negative mass to exist in our Universe without...

Lord of the Rings distance pinpointed

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As I mentioned in a previous post, there are a few ways to measure the distance of a star in our galaxy. Unfortunately when the Luminosity is unknown and it is too far away to use parallaxes method, we are stumped for ways to estimate the distance. Once in a while though we get lucky and we have events that allow us to calculate distance in other ways. Circinus X-1 is one of these events. Circinus X-1 is an x-ray binary; an x-ray binary is a system of two stars where material from one companion is accreting on the neutron star, which in turns emits x-rays.

Probing the furthest Universe to understand how spiral galaxies formed.

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A new paper accepted for publication this month has highlighted how spiral galaxies came to form in the early Universe. By using the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array...

The taming of the screw

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I have a mathematician friend who believes that anything that it is mathematically possible exists somewhere in the multiverse. She believes that there are some features that are so beautiful, that it would be a crime if they were simply quirks of the Universal language.

Testing Relativity With Nothing

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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...

A billion-ton pounding: evidence of an asteroid encountering a pulsar.

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 A pulsar is a highly magnetised fastly rotating neutron star which formed during a supernova explosion. The name pulsar is a portmanteau for pulsating star, because it emits a...

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