Articles about universe

Milky Way photo via Shutterstock

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace

A universe containing life like ours is probably more common in the multiverse than previously thought, according to new theoretical studies. The idea of multiple universes existing in parallel has gained traction in the last few decades and boffins are throwing large chunks of computing power at the problem, testing out …
Katyanna Quach, 14 May 2018

Astroboffins peep at the largest orgy of galaxies banging into each other

Astronomers have spotted a whopping 14 galaxies on the verge of merging to create what could be the densest and most massive galactic cluster in the universe. The discovery was made after the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica scanned the night sky and found a population of rare, extremely bright objects nicknamed SPT2349-56. …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Apr 2018
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Melbourne Uni hoping to hoist tiny telescope to look at BIG explosions

A couple of years after it was first conceived, a Melbourne University-led infrared astronomy cubesat proposal called SkyHopper is gathering momentum. Vulture South found itself intrigued by a simple question, which we found time to put to one of the project's founders, astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack: what useful astronomy can …
Scholz' Star. Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester

Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

Scientists have confirmed that the universe is very likely the same in every direction, showing that the assumption of the universe being isotropic can be safely used in cosmology. The results, published in Physical Review Letters show that there is only a 1 in 121,000 chance that the universe is non-isotropic. On small …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Sep 2016
The robotic proto-DESI

5,000 robots to build 3D map of the universe

Five thousand robots will get busy creating a 3D map of millions of galaxies in 2019. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has received US Department of Energy (DoE) approval to move from the design phase to construction, which will start next year. That includes building the 5,000 10 cm-long, finger-width robots …
BOSS map of universe

Go catch Pokemon in this, nerds: Our space neighborhood of 1.2m galaxies mapped in 3D

Pics After ten years of work by hundreds of scientists, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III has produced the most complete map of our nearby universe covering over a million galaxies. "We have spent five years collecting measurements of 1.2 million galaxies over one quarter of the sky to map out the structure of the Universe over a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

Beautiful model to explain the universe to physicists

An international team of cosmologists has made the first step towards creating the most accurate ever model of the universe by simulating Einstein’s field equations, according to recent research published in Physical Review Letters. Computer simulations are vital in cosmology and allow scientists to study and test theories …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Jun 2016

Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

Pic Cosmologists are scratching their heads after data from the Hubble Space Telescope has shown that the universe is expanding between 5 and 9 per cent faster than first thought. A team led by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess took measurements of 300 visible Type Ia supernovae spread among an assortment of galaxies, as well as around 2, …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jun 2016
Artist's impression of Earth-Like worlds. Pic: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Future civilisations won't know how the universe formed

Scientists have estimated that a whopping 92 per cent of "Earth-like" planets have yet to be born, and inhabitants of such worlds in the far-distant future will be "largely clueless as to how or if the universe began and evolved". Those are the conclusions of a study of Hubble Space Telescope and Kepler space observatory data …
Lester Haines, 21 Oct 2015


Astro-boffins have detailed a "monstrous" galaxy near the edge of the charted universe, and have done so to an unprecedented degree of detail using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), with the assistance of a natural telescopic phenomenon known as a gravitational lens. According to the National Institutes …
Big Bang

In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered

Pic Astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii have spotted the farthest galaxy on record – a galaxy 13 billion light-years away that formed 670 million years after the Big Bang. Youngest galaxy yet found I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... (click to enlarge) Several very old galaxies were detected by the …
Iain Thomson, 5 May 2015
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Got a big day planned in 15 billion years? You need this clock

The world's most accurate clock has been invented, and is ideal for anyone who doesn't want to be a second late over billions and billions of years. Boffins have improved the accuracy of the best optical atomic clock by a factor of three, so that it will not lose a second in 15 billion years – which is greater than the age of …
Kat Hall, 22 Apr 2015
Galaxy M101 shown with bars indicating location of supernova SN 2011fe. Image credit: NASA/Swift

PHYSICS APPLECART UPSET as dark energy disappears, Universe slams on brakes

In-the-dark astrophysicists now think there's probably less dark energy knocking about than was previously thought – which may suggest that the universe is expanding at a slower rate. That's at least the latest thinking on the subject to come out of the University of Arizona, whose team of astronomers claimed that their …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Apr 2015

TOTAL DARKNESS lasted 550 MILLION years until the first STARS LIT UP

The first stars were formed much later than had been previously thought in the boffinry community, according to new maps of the universe's "ancient light" from the European Space Agency's Planck satellite. Astrophysicists have now calculated that the universe is roughly 13.8 billion years old, based on the light emitted by …
Kat Hall, 6 Feb 2015
Top view of the Holometer as a Fermilab scientist works on the apparatus

Boffins attempt to prove the universe is just a hologram

How can we tell from the inside of our Universe if it’s actually real or just a hologram? Boffins at Fermilab have set out to answer this thorny question with a new experiment in the National Accelerator Lab called the Holometer. A Fermilab scientist works on the laser beams at the heart of the Holometer experiment Lasers …
Galaxy simulation

ENTIRE UNIVERSE created in supercomputer. Not THIS universe (probably)

Researchers at MIT and Harvard have created a a giant virtual universe – 350 million light-years squared – which can be used to simulate the real universe's development from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day, or around 13 billion years' worth of expansion. Dubbed Illustris, the pocket universe uses over 12 …
Iain Thomson, 8 May 2014
Spectrograph of SMSS J031300.36−670839.3

SkyMapper turns up oldest star ever found

It's a one-in-60-million search: a group of astronomers has turned up a “second-generation” star, the oldest yet discovered. The star, while given an age of 13.6-plus billion years (more on this later), is quite nearby at just 6,000 light years distant, and is in the Milky Way. What's special about SMSS (SkyMapper Southern …
Galaxy threeway

Astronomers spot 13-BEEELLION-year-old hot galactic threesome

Pics Using a combination of space and ground-based telescopes, astronomers have discovered three primitive galaxies slowly merging in a bubble of primordial elements. Galaxy threeway Galaxies need to get a room The galactic cluster was first spotted in 2009 by NASA space-scope Hubble and is located around 13 billion light-years …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2013

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