Technicians prepare Swift’s UVOT for vibration testing on Aug. 1, 2002, more than two years before launch, in the High Bay Clean Room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The Swift Observatory passed a milestone: 1 million snapshots of the universe. These exquisite and revealing pictures have captured the births and deaths of stars, gravitational waves and comets.
An artist’s depiction of a pair of neutron stars colliding.
To better detect gravitational waves, we need to build the quietest and most isolated thing on Earth. And make sure we don't drop those 40kg mirrors.
Triple star system involving a pulsar suggests Einstein was right.
An extreme laboratory in space involving three dead stars has shown that all objects really do accelerate identically, proving Einstein right.
Neutron star merger.
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Astronomers are getting ready to say good bye to the radio emission from a neutron star merger – one of the most energetic events in the universe – that was detected last year.
The Vela pulsar makes about 11 complete rotations every second, it also has a glitch.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Toronto/M.Durant et al; Optical: DSS/Davide De Martin
Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars and some of them are know to have a "glitch", and astronomers have captured one as it hapened.
ns gw art.
From a slow hum to a chirp or a bleep, what is that sound you hear whenever there's a new detection of gravitational waves?
Artist s impression of merging neutron stars.
Author University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
Cosmologists who were hoping to be the next Einstein have had to bin their theories.
For the first time, human beings harnessed the power of atomic fission.
By figuring out fission, physicists were able to split uranium atoms and release massive amounts of energy. This Manhattan Project work paved the way both for atomic bombs and nuclear power reactors.
Illustration of hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from the neutron stars just before they collided.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Until the recent observation of merging neutron stars, how the heaviest elements come to be was a mystery. But their fingerprints are all over this cosmic collision.
Supercomputer simulation of a pair of neutron stars colliding.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
A LIGO team member describes how the detection of a gravitational wave from a new source – merging neutron stars – vaults astronomy into a new era of 'multi-messenger' observations.
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
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 Australia Telescope Compact Array in Narrabri, NSW.
All it took was a single email alert to send the world's astronomers searching for the source of the latest gravitational wave detected.
The Zadko telescope was set to study the optical glow following a gamma ray burst.
Efforts to see the afterglow from a neutron star merger were nearly thwarted by bad weather and a cyber attack on an Australian telescope.
Simulation of two neutron stars merging.
NASA/AEI/ZIB/M. Koppitz and L. Rezzolla
The gravitational wave itself is the least exciting part of the announcement from LIGO and Virgo. Observing this new source answers many longstanding questions.
Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars.
National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet.
The discovery of tiny ripples in space from the violent collision of dense stars could help solve many mysteries – including where the gold in our jewellery comes from.
Studying mysterious neutron stars could uncover the secrets of exotic physics – and a way to navigate the stars.
State of the art detectors have found another signal from a pair of collapsing black holes – the consequences could be momentous.
A visualisation of gravitational waves emitted by two orbiting supermassive black holes.
A new study has failed to find evidence of gravitational waves, but that doesn't mean Einstein was wrong about their existence.
NASA artists’ interpretation of the neutron star Swift J1749.4-2807 (left) with it’s companion star (right).
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
They're are the overachievers of the universe: incredibly dense but very small when compared to others stars. So how much do we know about the extreme behaviour of neutron stars?
The strongest magnets in the universe – but how does a magnetar form? (Artist’s impression of magnetar in the cluster Westerlund 1.)
Magnetars are stars that are incredibly dense, rapidly spinning, amazingly hot and – as their name suggests – are the most magnetic objects known in the universe. The magnetic field on the surface of a…