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Big Bang

Analysis and Comment (11)

There’s a lot of dust between us and the edge of the universe. H Raab/Flickr

Has dust clouded the discovery of gravitational waves?

It’s almost three months since a team of scientists announced it had detected polarised light from the afterglow of the Big Bang. But questions are still being asked about whether cosmic dust may have…
Graduate student Justus Brevik testing the BICEP2 used to find evidence of cosmic inflation nearly 14 billion years ago. EPA/Steffen Richter/Harvard University

First hints of gravitational waves in the Big Bang’s afterglow

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the US have announced overnight what they believe is the indirect detection of gravitational waves in the afterglow of the Big Bang. The…
BICEP2 has spotted something pretty special from its South Pole base. Steffen Richter (Harvard University)

Explainer: what a flexed BICEP tells us about the big bang

The cosmological community is bubbling with the news that the BICEP2 experiment may have detected gravitational waves through measuring the radiation left over from the big bang. If the findings are correct…
An explosion in the universe (artist’s impression). www.shutterstock.com

The oldest star discovery tells much about the early universe

The discovery of an ancient star formed approximately 13.6-billion years ago just after the Big Bang is telling us much about the early universe. The star – designated SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 – lies within…
Virgo consortium: the web that holds the galaxies together. Rich Murray

Filaments that bind galaxies together illuminated by a quasar

According to cosmologists, galaxies are joined together by filaments, quite literally. These filaments form the cosmic web and are made of mostly dark matter, many stars and some gas. Observing these filaments…
“We’re accused of sitting in our ivory tower when we don’t engage with the public, and of sensationalism when we do.” photosteve101

‘Rewriting’ the Big Bang theory – a personal perspective

Melbourne Researchers Rewrite Big Bang Theory sang a recent headline in the Sydney Morning Herald. It was one of many suggesting the Big Bang theory had been somehow overthrown. As the principal investigator…
Despite ongoing research, we still know little about the universe’s earliest moments. tychay

‘Melbourne researchers rewrite Big Bang theory’ … or not

Earlier this week, headlines in several major newspapers screamed: “Melbourne researchers rewrite Big Bang theory”. You might think this is a reference to a new script for a popular TV show, but as a cosmologist…
Finding quasars will help us understand how galaxies were formed. NASA

Back to where we started: tracing the origins of galaxies

Today, the University of Melbourne’s Professor Stuart Wyithe was awarded the 2011 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his work on the origin of galaxies. The multi-award winning…
You wouldn’t believe what modern telescopes can do. Professor Fumolatro/Flickr

Will we ever see the Big Bang?

Last week, scientists set a new distance record, seeing a burst of gamma-rays from a star that exploded when the universe was only 520 million years old. The light from this distant source has been travelling…

Research Briefs (3)

Catching ancient light

Cosmologists have detected a long sought component in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which will help us to further…

Universe in a spin at Big Bang

An excess of counter-clockwise rotating, or “left-handed,” spiral galaxies have been found, providing evidence that the universe…