Category Archive: cosmology

Jul 10 2014

Cosmic dust abounds in the galaxy


We know the universe is full of dust. We see planets, proto-planets, rings and shells of gas and grains surround dying stars with beautiful arrays like the Crab Nebula above. It’s a thin fare. But astronomers believe there is plenty of it between stars in the Milky Way. The details of how it got from small …

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Jan 23 2014

Cosmos series reborn

An old friend will reappear in modern guise in a few weeks. The choice of venue is a little bit controversial in some circles. But Heidi Hammel writing at the Planetary Society makes a fair case for it: Remember Carl Sagan’s TV show, Cosmos? There is a new version, Cosmos – A Spacetime Odyssey (see …

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Jan 20 2014

The shape of space


Pretty cool, cosmologists are developing the Standard Model for the universe. A while back I saw something on TV that speculated on how galaxies and clusters move. It almost reminded me of material moving through a cell along ionic channels on the submicroscopic scale. I’m not saying the universe is alive or anything, but it is …

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Jun 11 2013

Grats: It’s a baby galaxy!

Segue 2

Galaxies aren’t just collections of stars. They also have to have a halo of Dark Matter cementing them together to qualify for that distinction. Otherwise any cluster would make the grade. There is an interesting new idea on how to explain Dark Matter making the rounds this week. Meanwhile, astronomers using the Keck Observatory have …

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Mar 11 2013

House Science Committee to hold hearings on impact danger

Forgive my absence gentle readers, I was on a well deserved R & R after the preceding, and life changing, two months (I had some evergreen content timed to go, I thought. But, well, for whatever reason Microsoft won again …). After which I was deemed healthy enough to return to work full time. So, last …

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Jan 20 2013

Radio wavelengths bring dim nebula into exquisite high resolution


Not long ago this object didn’t even have a name. It was just a dim hazy splotch in most telescopes, if they could see it at all. After being imaged by a high res wide radio telescope array in New Mexico, the one made famous in the movie Contact, it was christened the manatee nebula …

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Jan 07 2013

There’s something wrong with the universe

Why deeply religious people aren’t all drawn to cosmology, I have no idea. That’s where some of the answers are. And from that field come a fascinating finding from a team of astronomers, incidentally using software written by the 15 year-old son of one of them:

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Nov 28 2012

Ultra massive black hole not easy to explain

Hubble catches a large and small spiral galaxy similar to the respective dimensions of NGC 1277 and our Milky Way. Which one do you think would have the largest central black-hole?

Sometimes I dream that, one day, we’ll be studying what we think is a natural object or event in the universe of incomprehensible scope, only to eventually learn it’s a manufactured item. That didn’t happen today! But it is a nice segue to this interesting cosmic tidbit: astronomers have clocked stars in the nucleus of a …

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Nov 15 2012

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away …


Some people call a 13.7 billion year old universe ancient, but others think it’s held up nicely and doesn’t look an eon over five billion. Or in Bobby Jindal’s lesser epochs, a day over 5,000 years. But however one mismeasures time, lo those many billennia ago, there was at least one galaxy burning bright, and where there’s one modest-sized super massive black-hole …

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Oct 06 2012

Evolution, the Big Bang — LIES from the Pit of Hell!

It probably wouldn’t shock anyone if you heard that some wingnut dufus said that in public. What’s becoming even more disturbingly acceptable is this particular dufus sits on the House Science Committee. Ethan Seigal does the honors:

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