Leaving The Universe Behind

If the known universe was spherical would it be possible to move outside of it the same way a rocket can leave the Earth? Justin, New Zealand Oh that’s an interesting question. Could it be possible to leave our Universe? Probably not, but you don’t

A ‘Van Gogh View’ Of The Polaris Flare

Space images can often be breathtaking and the night sky has often inspired artists to produce incredible masterpieces. Sometimes even the way astronomers represent data can be both scientifically and artistically stunning. Case in point is the polarization map released by the Planck Collaboration, which

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 for the apparent lack of toilets in Star Trek, but

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.

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

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