A podcast all about nothing. From the importance of doing nothing to the ill-effects of time spent in solitary confinement and what nothing means in space.
Galaxy history revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
From a mysterious energy of empty space to parallel universes, cosmology's view of 'nothing' is anything but boring.
Colorful view of universe as seen by Hubble in 2014.
NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI)
New observations show we don't really understand the universe's expansion.
Translating the signals.
Science and art meet on the 'big screen' – turning data into visuals at the Lovell Telescope, Jodrell Bank.
Nobody knows for sure where black holes lead to.
The pull created by a black hole is so strong that if you get too close to one – even if you are travelling away from it at the fastest speed it is possible to go – you will never be able escape.
In fact, some things are slowing the Earth down or could change its spinning in the future.
To answer this tricky question, we have to look back in time to when the Earth was born, 4.5 billion years ago.
About a century ago, we didn’t even know that galaxies existed.
Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Pretty much as soon as we understood what galaxies were, we realised they are all moving away from each other. And the ones that are further away are moving faster. In short, the universe is expanding.
New heavy nuclei are constantly generated in stars and other astronomical bodies.
People long assumed all the elements we see now were created during the Big Bang. But on May 2, 1952, an astronomer reported spotting new elements coming from an old star and changed our origin story.
What goes in doesn’t go out?
The famous cosmologist was closely identified with black holes due to his revolutionary theoretical work explaining some of their mysterious properties.
British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Professor Stephen Hawking in 2014.
Stephen Hawking inspired people with his work on black holes and other mysteries of the universe. Many were quick to pay tribute to the theoretical physicist who died today in the UK, aged 76.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star…
The precious metal is literally extra-terrestrial, produced in the heart of the stars. How and under what conditions? Scientists know more thanks to a double astrophysical observation.
Looking up in the main chamber at SNOLAB’s facility in the Vale Creighton nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont., a giant spherical neutrino sensor array the size of a 10 storey building is used to detect subatomic particles that pass through the earth.
Deep underground, scientists research subatomic particles from space in a bid to understand the building blocks of our universe.
Map of all matter – most of which is invisible dark matter – between Earth and the edge of the observable universe.
Cosmologists are heading back to their chalkboards as the experiments designed to figure out what this unknown 84 percent of our universe actually is come up empty.
Supercomputer simulation of a pair of neutron stars colliding.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
A LIGO team member describes how the detection of a gravitational wave from a new source – merging neutron stars – vaults astronomy into a new era of 'multi-messenger' observations.
Artist’s impression of the collision of two neutron stars, the source of the latest gravitational waves detected.
National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet
Astronomers have finally confirmed the source of the latest detected gravitational waves was the collission of a pair of neutron stars, what they'd been searching for all along.
The Australia Telescope Compact Array in Narrabri, NSW.
All it took was a single email alert to send the world's astronomers searching for the source of the latest gravitational wave detected.
The Zadko telescope was set to study the optical glow following a gamma ray burst.
Efforts to see the afterglow from a neutron star merger were nearly thwarted by bad weather and a cyber attack on an Australian telescope.
Simulation of two neutron stars merging.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
The gravitational wave itself is the least exciting part of the announcement from LIGO and Virgo. Observing this new source answers many longstanding questions.
The mass of the Earth is big enough that the gravitational force it creates can pull the hard shape of ice, rock and metal into a sphere.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Imagine the Earth pulling everything it is made up of, all of its mass, towards its centre. This happens evenly all over the Earth, causing it to take on a round shape.
The Sun is currently middle-aged, having celebrated its 4,568,000,000th birthday at some point in the last million years.
In five or seven billion years time, the Sun's life will come to an end. And it will be really spectacular - if you're watching from far enough away.