What happened during the Big Bang?
How scientists are planning to listen to the sound of the big bang with a gravitational wave detector that would fit in a kitchen.
NSF / LIGO / Sonoma State University / A Simonnet
A small add-on to existing gravitational wave detectors could reveal what happens to matter as it becomes a black hole, a process like the big bang in reverse.
No one knows what kicked off the Big Bang that eventually allowed the stars to begin forming.
Adolf Schaller for STScI
The term ‘Big Bang’ might make you think of a massive explosion. Put the thought out of your head. Rather than an explosion, it was the start of everything in the universe.
Artist’s rendering of a Jupiter-sized exoplanet and its host, a star slightly more massive than our sun. Image credit:
Scientists who discovered planets in far off stellar systems and the fundamentals of the Big Bang Theory have earned the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The Princeton cosmologist helped pioneer our current model of the universe and began a whole new branch of physics.
The South Pole Telescope and BICEP telescopes (pictured above) may discover clues that could teach us if there was something else ‘before’ the Big Bang.
Dr. Keith Vanderlinde/NSF
Long ago in the distant past, our entire Universe was microscopic – just like an atom – and obeyed completely different rules of cause and effect.
Balloons filled with helium float lazily into the sky.
By magicinfoto / shutterstock.com
Helium lifts balloons and makes our voices squeak. But its supply on Earth is finite and is critical for modern industrial processes and medical imaging in hospitals. How worried should we be?
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.
Big History may provide a basis for drawing different human cultures closer together.
At a time when nationalism and religious ideologies are dividing humanity, it is important to find unifying perspectives on our ‘origin story.’
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.
UK’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees shares his memories of the physicist Stephen Hawking, who has died at the age of 76.
An artist’s rendering of how the first stars in the universe may have looked.
N.R. Fuller, National Science Foundation
Signals from the first stars to form in the universe have been picked up by a table-sized detector in a west Australian desert. The find also hints at an early interaction with dark matter.
Timeline of the universe.
From blindingly bright and burning hot to pleasantly ‘candle-lit’, the first years of the universe would have been spectacular to see.
Andy Rain/ EPA
Hawking proved that the Big Bang was physically possible.
Part of the new map of dark matter made from gravitational lensing measurements of 26 million galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey.
Chihway Chang/University of Chicago/DES collaboration
We still can’t see the dark matter thought to make up about a quarter of the universe, but at least now we have a map of its structure.
Mine’s a Star-opramen.
It's like one great big distillery up there.
In the beginning, the Universe expanded very, very fast.
What caused the Big Bang is still a mystery. And that’s just one of the many unanswered questions, in spite of everything we do know about the birth of the Universe.
Some of the earliest known galaxies in the universe, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Atoms blown up in the right way could signal when a gravitational wave is passing through.
The truth is we don’t really know if space goes on forever – but maybe, one day, we will find out.
People used to think that when they looked up at the night sky, they were seeing all of space. Then American astronomer Edwin Hubble found out something so amazing, NASA named a telescope after him.
Light from the universe’s first galaxies destroyed the hydrogen atoms that formed during the Big Bang.
NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team
A new telescope aims to figure out what became of the universe’s original atoms once the first stars began to shine.