Jim Geach, David Tree, Peter Richardson, Games and Visual Effects Research Lab, University of Hertfordshire
New research shows how chemical elements mix in the universe. Without this process, you wouldn't be here.
Star trails take shape around the story Mayall Telescop dome in Arizona.
P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF).jpg
Will we have to rewrite Einstein's theory of gravity? The DESI experiment could find out.
Conical jets of radiation burst from the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
New research shows the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way spat out an enormous beam of radiation 3.5 million years ago
A massive galaxy cluster from the simulation, with filaments.
Joshua Borrow using C-EAGLE]
Maps of the long filaments of gas that hold the universe together may one day help us trace and unveil 'dark matter'.
G299 was left over by a Type Ia supernova.
The rate of the universe's expansion is in dispute. But a new kind of measurement offers hope.
The universe is home to a dizzying number of stars and planets. But the vast bulk of the universe is thought to be invisible dark matter.
Why do astronomers believe there's dark matter when it cannot be directly detected? Let's look at the evidence, and see what dark matter's presence means for our universe.
The Milky Way stretches across the sky near the Hungarian border village of Tachty in Slovakia.
The diameter of the Milky Way is a billion billion kilometres.
The warped spiral galaxy ESO 510-G13 seen edge-on.
The Milky Way’s disc of stars becomes increasingly warped and twisted the further away they are from the galaxy’s centre.
The bullet cluster.
New research suggests we may be able to forget about dark matter if we tweak the laws of gravity according to imaginary bubbles in space.
An artist’s impression of Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star’s habitable zone - the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
Life could exist in another solar system in a different part our galaxy. Or in another galaxy far away. We don't have the perfect technology yet to study such far away places but we're still trying.
Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK.
When you look up at the vastness of space you can see hundreds, thousands and even millions of years into the past.
It would be nice to blast dangerous nuclear waste far away from Earth, or into the Sun where it won’t cause any harm. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
At the end of the day, the problem is that no-one on Earth wants nuclear waste stored near them, and it's not safe or cost-effective to blast it into space.
The region around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, imaged with South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope.
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)
A black hole is an object with such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape from it.
An artist’s impression of fast radio bursts in the sky above the Australian SKA precursor, ASKAP.
OzGrav, Swinburne University of Technology
Perhaps precisely because they are so elusive, Fast Radio Bursts have received a lot of attention in the years since their discovery.
Nobody knows for sure - but it’s possible.
There are probably more than a million planets in the universe for every single grain of sand on Earth. That's a lot of planets. My guess is that there probably is life elsewhere in the Universe.
The other galaxies are there, but they are hiding a very long way away.
We are in the Milky Way. If you travelled on an extremely fast spaceship for more than two million years, you would reach our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy. All other galaxies are even further away.
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.
The Sombrero galaxy reveals the extremes of age and shape.
NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
As galaxies get older they get rounder, and fall victim to the middle-aged spread that catches many of us humans here on Earth.
An artist’s impression of the predicted merger between our Milky Way (right) and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (left). So which galaxy will dominate?
NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger
Bigger galaxies tend to dominate the smaller, when the two collide. But the pending battle between our Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy might be a much fairer fight than we previously thought.
: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Rolf Olsen; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Strangely behaving galaxies force scientists to rethink whether the universe really is uniform.