Cosmology

Cosmology News -- ScienceDaily Cosmology news. From deep observations of the far reaches of space and time to spectroscopic analysis and more. Read cosmology articles and consider how astronomers view the origin of the universe.

  • North, east, south, west: The many faces of Abell 1758
    on January 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Resembling a swarm of flickering fireflies, this beautiful galaxy cluster glows intensely in the dark cosmos, accompanied by the myriad bright lights of foreground stars and swirling spiral galaxies. A1758N is a sub-cluster of Abell 1758, a massive cluster containing hundreds of galaxies. Although it may appear serene in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, the sub-cluster actually comprises two even smaller structures currently in the turbulent process of merging. […]

  • Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
    on January 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Dust is everywhere -- not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space. To astronomers, dust can be a tool to study the history of our universe, galaxy, and Solar System. For example, observations indicate that type II supernovae -- explosions of stars more than ten times as massive as the Sun -- produce copious amounts of dust, but how and when they do so is not well understood. […]

  • Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists
    on January 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. New observations indicate that the gamma ray burst unleashed by the collision is more complex than scientists initially imagined. […]

  • Hubble weighs in on mass of 3 million billion suns
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    In 2014, astronomers found an enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns -- so it's little wonder that it has earned the nickname of "El Gordo" ("the Fat One" in Spanish)! Known officially as ACT-CLJ0102-4915, it is the largest, hottest, and brightest X-ray galaxy cluster ever discovered in the distant Universe. […]

  • Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
    on January 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Statistical analysis of supermassive black holes suggests that the spin of the black hole may play a role in the generation of powerful high-speed jets blasting radio waves. By analyzing nearly 8000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, research team found that the oxygen emissions are 1.5 times stronger in radio loud quasars than in radio quiet quasars. This implies that spin is an important factor in the generation of jets. […]

  • Magnified and stretched out image of extremely distant galaxy
    on January 11, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    An intensive survey deep into the universe by NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has yielded the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack: the farthest galaxy yet seen in an image that has been stretched and amplified by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. […]

  • Astronomers detect 'whirlpool' movement in earliest galaxies; swirling gases soon after Big Bang
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Astronomers have looked back to a time soon after the Big Bang, and have discovered swirling gas in some of the earliest galaxies to have formed in the universe. These 'newborns' -- observed as they appeared nearly 13 billion years ago -- spun like a whirlpool, similar to our own Milky Way. This is the first time that it has been possible to detect movement in galaxies at such an early point in the universe's history. […]

  • Weighing massive stars in nearby galaxy reveals excess of heavyweights
    on January 4, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Astronomers have revealed an 'astonishing' overabundance of massive stars in a neighboring galaxy. The discovery, made in the gigantic star-forming region 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, has 'far-reaching' consequences for our understanding of how stars transformed the pristine Universe into the one we live in today. […]

  • Scientists describe how solar system could have formed in bubble around giant star
    on December 23, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Scientists have laid out a comprehensive theory for how our solar system could have formed in the wind-blown bubbles around a giant, long-dead star. The study addresses a nagging cosmic mystery about the abundance of two elements in our solar system compared to the rest of the galaxy. […]

  • 'Cosmic lantern' could help us further understand the fate of the universe
    on December 21, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    New research has provided a deeper insight into emission line galaxies, used in several ongoing and upcoming surveys, to help us further understand the composition and fate of the universe. […]

  • Ancient fossil microorganisms indicate that life in the universe is common
    on December 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    A new analysis of the oldest known fossil microorganisms provides strong evidence to support an increasingly widespread understanding that life in the universe is common. […]

  • Star mergers: A new test of gravity, dark energy theories
    on December 18, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and challenged a large class of theories. […]

  • Dawn of a galactic collision
    on December 14, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    A riot of color and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256. Its smoke-like plumes are flung out in all directions and the bright core illuminates the chaotic regions of gas and dust swirling through the galaxy's center. Its odd structure is due to the fact that this is not one galaxy, but two -- in the process of a galactic collision. […]

  • Doing without dark energy
    on December 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Three mathematicians have a different explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe that does without theories of 'dark energy.' Einstein's original equations for General Relativity actually predict cosmic acceleration due to an 'instability,' they argue in a new paper. […]

  • Galaxy orbits in the local supercluster
    on December 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Astronomers have produced the most detailed map ever of the orbits of galaxies in our extended local neighborhood, showing the past motions of almost 1,400 galaxies within 100 million light years of the Milky Way. The team reconstructed the galaxies' motions from 13 billion years in the past to the present day. […]

  • Black holes' magnetism surprisingly wimpy
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Black holes are famous for their muscle: an intense gravitational pull known to gobble up entire stars and launch streams of matter into space at almost the speed of light. It turns out the reality may not live up to the hype. […]

  • Galaxy growth in a massive halo in the first billion years of cosmic history
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Observations of two galaxies made with the National Science Foundation-funded Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope suggest that large galaxies formed faster than scientists had previously thought. […]

  • Heavy metal: How first supernovae altered early star formation
    on December 6, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    An international team of researchers ran multi-scale, multi-physics 2-D and 3-D simulations to illustrate how heavy metals expelled from exploding supernovae held the first stars in the universe regulate subsequent star formation and influence the appearance of galaxies in the process. […]

  • ALMA finds massive primordial galaxies swimming in vast ocean of dark matter
    on December 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    New observations push back the epoch of massive-galaxy formation even further by identifying two giant galaxies seen when the universe was only 780 million years old, or about 5 percent its current age. […]

  • Scientists observe supermassive black hole in infant universe
    on December 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    A team of astronomers has detected the most distant supermassive black hole ever observed. The black hole sits in the center of an ultrabright quasar and presents a puzzle as to how such a huge object could have grown so quickly. […]

  • Astronomer's map reveals location of mysterious fast-moving gas
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    The most detailed map ever of clouds of high-velocity gas in the universe around us has now been developed by scientsits. The map covers the entire sky and shows curious clouds of neutral hydrogen gas that are moving at a different speed to the normal rotation of the Milky Way. […]

  • Gravitational waves could shed light on the origin of black holes
    on November 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    The detection of gravitational waves has given astronomers a new way of looking at the universe, and a new study shows how these ripples in the fabric of spacetime might confirm or rule out the existence of a certain type of black hole. […]

  • MUSE probes uncharted depths of Hubble Ultra Deep Field
    on November 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Astronomers using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have conducted the deepest spectroscopic survey ever. They focused on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, measuring distances and properties of 1600 very faint galaxies including 72 galaxies that have never been detected before. This wealth of new information is giving astronomers insight into star formation in the early Universe. […]

  • Why is massive star formation quenched in galaxy centers?
    on November 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    A new study proposes that one of the reasons that slows down the rate at which massive stars form in galaxies is the existence of relatively large magnetic fields. Research has revealed that this process occurs around the center of the galaxy NGC 1097. […]

  • Possible vestiges of a universe previous to the Big Bang
    on November 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    A researcher proposes to eliminate the need for cosmological space-time singularity and argues that the current expansion phase was preceded by contraction. […]

  • How Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks
    on November 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light. The experiment was achieved with the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized sensors frozen deep within a cubic kilometer of very clear ice near the South Pole. […]

  • Dark matter and dark energy: Do they really exist?
    on November 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Researchers have hypothesized that the universe contains a 'dark matter.' They have also posited the existence of a 'dark energy.' These two hypotheses account for the movement of stars in galaxies and for the accelerating expansion of the universe. But, according to a researcher, these concepts may be no longer valid: the phenomena can be demonstrated without them. This research exploits a new theoretical model based on the scale invariance of the empty space. […]

  • What is the computational power of the universe?
    on November 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Can a close look at the universe give us solutions to problems too difficult for a computer -- even if we built a computer larger than a planet? Physicist Stephen Jordan reflects on this question in a new NIST video, along with a scientific paper that considers one particular tough problem the universe might answer. […]

  • Hunt for dark matter is narrowed
    on November 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Scientists have disproved the existence of a specific type of axion -- an important candidate 'dark matter' particle -- across a wide range of its possible masses. […]

  • Duo of titanic galaxies captured in extreme starbursting merger
    on November 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Astronomers have uncovered the never-before-seen close encounter between two astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early universe. […]