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...

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...

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).

The Universe’s composition is the same everywhere

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The Japanese X-ray satellite SUZAKU has looked at the distribution of gas around the Virgo cluster, a large galaxy cluster close to the Milky Way and the second brightest...

The Big Bang is not going anywhere.

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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.

Lunatic Hypotheses or How Quickly Theories Have To Adapt

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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...

New insight into the minor merger process

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Galaxy mergers are violent interactions between galaxies and they are consider one of the fundamental steps in how galaxies form and evolve. Mergers occur when two (or more) galaxies...

Interstellar Travel Meets The Real Universe

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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...

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.

Observation of Dirac Monopoles in a Synthetic Magnetic Field

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What are magnetic monopoles and why are they important? If you ever broke a magnet in two when you were little (I was a weird kid, leave me be) you...