Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: the woman who discovered what the Universe is made of.

In this vlog, I talk about Prof. Payne-Gaposchkin, one the most important astronomers of the 20th Century. Thanks to her we know that stars are not made by the same elements as the Earth, and that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe.

Some facts on Betelgeuse going supernova

Every few months, I see articles about Betelgeuse, the right shoulder in the constellation of Orion, ready to go supernova. The articles vary from the sensational to the apocalyptic and I can understand why it is a fascinating subject. A supernova in our galactic backyard.

Destroying the One Ring in Space

I was asked by Larry, one of my students, about what would be the best place in the solar system to destroy the One Ring. Since the 25th of March is the anniversary of its destruction and the fall of Sauron I thought I’d dedicate this vlog to answering the question as seriously and as accurately as possible.

The Universe in 10 Features: 10. Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYkFoByE2ag&feature=youtu.be The final feature for this series is Life. The Universe is such mind-boggling huge place that we are most definitely the best that random chances and selfish genes can produce. NASA defines life as a: “Self-sustaining...

The Universe in 10 Features: 9. Protoplanetary disks

Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. In the previous vlog we saw how the cyclical formation and destruction of stars leads to a metal rich Intergalactic Medium, and that the presence of metals in...

The Universe in 10 Features: 8. Population I Stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMeIDu1C5Ls One of the fundamental laws of the universe is the conservation of Energy. Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, and all is transformed. And so the death of the original stars brought forth new...

The Universe in 10 Features: 7. Elliptical Galaxies

Our 7th feature is about elliptical galaxies. Elliptical galaxies are the other main class of galaxies we find in our universe. They have a spherical stellar distribution, meaning simply that their stars' orbits are not in a plane any more, and instead have random orientations.

The Universe in 10 Features: 6. Spiral Galaxies

As we've seen in the previous vlog, spiral Galaxies started forming from the primordial protogalaxies about 11 billion years ago. The formation of spiral galaxies is important because it happened at the peak of population II stars formation and allowed for planets to form.

The Universe in 10 Features: 5. Proto-galaxies

Another important feature in the history of Universe are the proto-galaxies. In the last 30 years we were able to observe only a few dozen of these proto or primeval galaxies, which mostly looked like shapeless blobs with an intense UV emission.

The Universe in 10 Features: 4. Reionisation

The Universe coming out of the cosmic dark ages was a bleak place. The afterglow of the Big Bang had slipped into infrared radiation and neutral hydrogen was a mist stretching the entire cosmos....