Black holes are often described as collapsed stars with such an intense gravitational pull that nothing can escape. This begs the question: “How does gravity ‘escape’ the black hole in the first place?”
January 31st, 2013No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
December 19th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Tau Ceti is the closest sun-like star in the galaxy. It’s only three times farther away than the nearest star system, it’s visible to the naked eye.
And there might be an earth-like planet orbiting it.
November 30th, 20124 Comments, All Posts, Featured, by Carter Bowles.
Our current models of the universe are remarkably close to telling us where the universe came from, and the answer is amazing, fascinating, and perhaps to some, disconcerting. They suggest that it came from nothing, and spell out just how this could occur.
The answer is nothing short of amazing, but also remarkably complex. The task of explaining it to everyday people is not an enviable one, which is one of many reasons I admire Professor Lawrence M. Krauss: an internationally recognized theoretical physicist, and the author of A Universe from Nothing.
I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the book and the implications for the universe. Here’s what we talked about.
A special class of supernova, called a Type Ia supernova, has a remarkably consistent brightness (roughly 5 billion times brighter than the sun). This consistency has been used to estimate the distance of galaxies in the universe. It was studies of these supernovas that allowed scientists to discover that the universe’s expansion is accelerating, a behavior that led to the discovery of dark energy.
But despite many theories, the empirical evidence for each of them was few and far between, until now.
October 17th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Scientists at the La Silla Observatory, Chile, have discovered that the Alpha Centauri star system has a planet. That’s right, planets are common enough in the universe that there’s one orbiting our nearest neighbor, just 4.3 light years away.
This is the smallest planet we have ever discovered orbiting a star comparable to the sun. It shoots around its star in just 3.2 days.
October 11th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Recent observations reveal that a red giant has spewed a mass equivalent to a thousand Earths into orbit, three times more than expected by current theories. The observations were made by ALMA (the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), a collection of radio telescopes that will be the most massive collection of its kind upon completion in 2013.
September 14th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
This week we look back on yet another record set for quantum entanglement. Meanwhile, astronomers spot a spiral galaxy in images of the early universe, the very first of its kind. And could a Japanese mathematician have proven a relationship between prime numbers?
September 4th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, Featured, by Carter Bowles.
Black holes are a place where the universe goes to die. General relativity predicts that they carry you to the end of time and then deposit you inside the event horizon, where it becomes impossible to escape.
And yet Dr. Caleb Scharf, the Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University, wanted to tell me about a different side of black holes. Their intense gravitational fields are also a source of energy, and they may have played a part in the fact that our galaxy had the right ingredients for life.
August 23rd, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
For today’s Friday Roundup, scientists invent a bacteria that could turn waste into fuel, and NASA discovers that Titan probably has DNA fragments in its atmosphere. Meanwhile, Harvard stores 700 terabytes of data on a DNA microchip, and a chimp solves problems using stone tools.
August 16th, 2012
Friday Roundup: New Breakthrough at LHC, Record Shattering Entanglement, and Plate Tectonics on MarsNo Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
For today’s Friday Roundup, the LHC probes quark soup, plate tectonics are discovered on Mars, and a quantum entanglement record has been shattered. Also a method for extracting energy from wastewater could turn water treatment plants into giant batteries.