Blog Archives

Hold the Nobels For Now

Oops. Maybe. In March, a team of astronomers working with the BICEP2 radio telescope at the South Pole announced an exciting discovery, claiming to have discovered patterns in the cosmic microwave background that would exist if the universe underwent an

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Posted in Cosmology

The Latest News From The Big Bang

It won’t make you richer. It won’t organize your calendar. It probably has no practical application whatsoever. But the scientific discovery announced on March 17th is one of the great discoveries of the new century, and virtually certain to result

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Posted in Cosmology

Astronomy in 2011

(This post has been edited slightly from the original to include the MESSENGER mission to Mercury and to correct a misstatement about galactic black holes.) As the end of calendar year 2011 approaches, I thought my readers might enjoy a look

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Posted in Cosmology, Planets, Solar System, Spacecraft, Stars

Supernova!

There is a reason why most of the major observatories in the U.S. are west of the Mississippi River. The clouds and rain we have had in Virginia for the last several weeks have reduced our view of the heavens

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Posted in Cosmology, Stars

If You Are REALLY Into Astronomy…

…then I have the site for you. Astrobites (http://astrobites.com/) is the “astrophysics reader’s digest”, a role which it fills admirably. (Full disclosure: one of the writers for the site is the daughter of a friend and professional colleague.) Astrophysics graduate

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Posted in Cosmology, Stars

A Semi-Educated Guess

On Wednesday, January 26th, NASA will hold a press conference to announce a new discovery by researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope. What might that announcement contain? There are a few clues. NASA has said that “Astronomers have pushed the

Posted in Cosmology