The Two Year

3 January 2022

It’s a new year, and time for a new round of blog posts.

Dark Matters

Scientists continue to ponder what dark matter might be. One idea is that it might be comprised of primordial black holes. This idea has been proposed before, but this recent study tweaks the model a bit. Their model could explain both dark matter and how large black holes formed in the early universe. What’s even better is that they argue the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope might be able to see the infrared glow of these primordial black holes due to Hawking radiation.

Hot Topic

In the search for planets orbiting other stars, astronomers found a planet so close to its star that it orbits once every 8 hours. They also found it has a density roughly that of pure iron. So it is likely the young planet was stripped of its outer layers by the star, leaving a remnant core of a planet.

Go Wide

Radio astronomers typically have a narrow view of the sky. Radio wavelengths are so long that it is difficult to make an image of large sky objects. But recently a team captured a detailed image of Centaurus A, which is the largest radio object in the sky. If you could see it with the naked eye, Centaurus A would be more than 16 Moon-widths across.

Finally, I wrote a post on Fermi problems, and how they can be used to make rough estimates that are reasonably accurate. It can be used to make estimates for everything from the spread of covid to global warming.

Until next time, I hope you stay warm if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, and enjoy the Summer if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.