The Very Hungry Supermassive Black Hole

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).

Lunatic Hypotheses or How Quickly Theories Have To Adapt

Last week, in a matter of a few days, two studies came out that brought with them a completely different perspective on our Moon. The first one, published in Nature Geoscience, was about an alternative...

The taming of the screw

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.

Are there cows on Mars?

Obviously there are no cows on Mars but NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover detected an increase of methane in the atmosphere and organic molecules from the soil during one of its drilling sessions. The findings were...

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...

Kepler proves that planets are as old as galaxies. So where is everybody?

The oldest exoplanetary star-system has been discovered by Kepler. The system orbiting Kepler 444 was older than the Earth today when the Sun first shone light.

Interstellar Travel Meets The Real Universe

Interstellar travel is about to go from a Sci-fi idea to physical reality, but the jump comes with a series of considerations that fiction writers don't have to consider. This could work as an introduction...

Probing the furthest Universe to understand how spiral galaxies formed.

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 (ALMA), a team lead by...

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

 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 beam of electromagnetic radiation usually...

The Big Bang is not going anywhere.

On the 4th of February a paper was published detailing a Universe that didn’t need a Big Bang. While it is very interesting (you can read it here) I find myself once again at odds with how theoretical papers are formulated. The paper details a mathematical robust way to solve many cosmological conundrums. The flatness problem (discussed in this vlog), the value of dark energy and the nature of dark matter.