Every star dies. Our Sun will shine for about 5 billion more years, but the time will come when it swells to a red giant for a time, then collapse to become a white dwarf. Larger stars live shorter lives, and can eventually collapse to become neutron stars. Read More
Another video in the Big Science Observations series has been released. We’re filming a few more next week, so look forward to them.
Yesterday an eccentric billionaire launched his electric car into space, and you could watch it live on the internet. Read More
In all the cosmos there is only one planet known to harbor life. While Earth is special to us, there are countless similar worlds orbiting other stars. Since life arose early in Earth’s history, it seems likely that life could arise on other potentially habitable planets. But as we learn of both exoplanets and the history of life on Earth, we’ve found that things are a bit more complicated. Read More
Einstein’s theory of gravity has been tested in lots of ways, from the slow precession of Mercury’s orbit, to the detection of gravitational waves. So far the theory has passed every test, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely true. Like any theory, general relativity is based upon certain assumptions about the way the universe works. The biggest assumption in relativity is the principle of general equivalence. Read More
One of the biggest challenges in astronomy is observing the cold, dark dust surrounding a young star. These planetary disks, as they are known, are the birthplace of planets. Understanding them helps us understand how planetary systems form. But much of the gas and dust is so cold that they emit light mostly in the microwave range, which is difficult to detect. But with the construction of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) we can finally start to see details. Read More