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What is the geometry of the universe?

One of the big questions in cosmology regards the shape of the universe. "Shape" in this case is not the distribution of galaxies, but rather the shape of space and time itself. In general relativity, space ...

Sep 24, 2014
4.4 / 5 (50) 38

How small can galaxies be?

Yesterday I talked about just how small a star can be, so today let's explore just how small a galaxy can be. Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and contains about 200 billion stars. Th ...

Sep 29, 2014
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Astronomical measurements must account for gravity

One of the consequences of general relativity is that light can be deflected by nearby masses. Mass curves space, and this curvature causes light to bend slightly. It was first observed during a total eclipse ...

Sep 25, 2014
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The threat of global sea level rise

Changes taking place in the oceans around Antarctica could result in an abrupt rise in global sea level, according to a Victoria University of Wellington led study.

Sep 30, 2014
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Scientists make droplets move on their own

Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines, ...

Sep 29, 2014
3.8 / 5 (17) 5

The coolest stars

One way that stars are categorized is by temperature. Since the temperature of a star can determine its visual color, this category scheme is known as spectral type. The main categories of spectral type are ...

Sep 29, 2014
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