Articles on Astrophysics

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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

At last, we’ve found gravitational waves from a collapsing pair of neutron stars

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 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

Curious Kids: Why is the Earth round?

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.
Have we really discovered other “Earth-like” planets orbiting around other stars? Understanding what we do and do not know about exoplanets is the key to answering this question. ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger/Reuters

Until we get better tools, excited reports of ‘habitable planets’ need to come back down to Earth

Over the last 20 years, advances in the field of exoplanet discovery have excited the imaginations of scientists and enthusiasts alike. But we're in position to know yet whether a planet is habitable.
We can all reach for the stars in The Milky Way over Western Australia. Flickr/HuiChieh

We should encourage boys and girls to reach for the stars

The drive the get more women involved in science should start at an early age. But as one space researcher found out, girls can get nudged out of science at school.
There are two broad ways to measure the expansion of the universe. One is based on the cosmic microwave background, shown here, along with our own galaxy viewed in microwave wavelengths. ESA, HFI & LFI consortia (2010)

From dark gravity to phantom energy: what’s driving the expansion of the universe?

The universe is expanding faster than expected, but we don't know what's driving it. Here are a few of the possible explanations, from dark energy to a modification of general relativity.

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