Dark energy

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Understanding how galaxies are arranged could be the key to figuring what causes the expansion of the universe. ESA/Hubble, NASA and S. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast)

Galaxy survey to probe why the universe is accelerating

A unique map of the galaxies in the sky could shed light on the mysteries of the universe – including dark energy and dark matter.
How do we think about something we can’t see and don’t experience in our everyday lives, but seems to be pushing our universe apart ever faster? NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team

Explainer: the mysterious dark energy that speeds the universe’s rate of expansion

Einstein's theory of gravity says dark energy must be out there, accelerating the expansion of our universe. But what is it and how can we try to figure out more about it?
If the signs are right, fundamental equations of cosmology may need altering. waljoris

Is life on Earth due to a quirk in the laws of physics?

A radical discovery by my colleagues and I – reported this week in Physical Review Letters – could help explain why it was possible for life (at least as we know it) to develop on Earth, but not in other…
Even the Hubble telescope, which took this picture of Bright Spiral Galaxy M81, is not capable of taking the wide-angle shots needed for all sky astrophysics, so new equipment must be invented. NASA http://www.nasa.gov

New all-sky astrophysics research centre to tackle the big questions

Some astronomical questions can only be answered by looking at the whole sky all at once but the technology to do that doesn’t…
Is that a planet, a galaxy or a Rosetta Stone? ichewmylips

The Astronomer’s Holy Grail

A vital part of professional astronomy is collecting data using large telescopes. In many cases, these telescopes are national or international facilities, with time available to all through a competitive…
Artistic view of a close-up of a supermassive black hole. This image shows the material surrounding the black hole, which ultimately will fall in the central region releasing the X-ray radiation detected in this work. NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Scientists discover ancient black holes

Astrophysicists have discovered black holes that formed up to 12.5 billion years ago – among the oldest examples of the phenomena…
The universe teems with energy and matter we don’t understand. stuant63/Flickr

Adventures in the dark side of cosmology

In questioning the fundamental nature of the universe, cosmology regularly grabs the public’s attention. But in an era in which we are observing deeper and more widely than ever before, our knowledge of…

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