News tagged with cosmic background

Water was plentiful in the early universe

Astronomers have long held that water—two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom—was a relative latecomer to the universe. They believed that any element heavier than helium had to have been formed in the ...

dateMay 13, 2015 in Astronomy
shares178 comments 4

What shape is the universe?

The universe. It's the only home we've ever known. Thanks to its intrinsic physical laws, the known constants of nature, and the heavy-metal-spewing fireballs known as supernovae we are little tiny beings ...

dateMay 12, 2015 in Astronomy
shares432 comments 14

The cosmic evolution of galaxies

Our knowledge of the big bang has increased dramatically in the past decade, as satellites and ground-based studies of the cosmic microwave background have refined parameters associated with the very early ...

dateMay 11, 2015 in Astronomy
shares116 comments 0

Brian Schmidt discusses the fast-firing universe

In 1998, a team led by a former Harvard graduate student shocked the astrophysics world by publishing results that said the expansion of the universe, believed to be gradually slowing, was instead accelerating.

dateApr 28, 2015 in Astronomy
shares23 comments 1

Cosmologically complicating dust

The universe was created 13.7 billion years ago in a blaze of light: the big bang. Roughly 380,000 years later, after matter (mostly hydrogen) had cooled enough for neutral atoms to form, light was able to ...

dateApr 20, 2015 in Astronomy
shares68 comments 13

Is the universe finite or infinite?

Two possiblities exist: either the Universe is finite and has a size, or it's infinite and goes on forever. Both possibilities have mind-bending implications.

dateMar 27, 2015 in Astronomy
shares445 comments 47

Cosmic bumps on cosmic ripples

In 1969, the astrophysicists Rashid Sunyaev and Yakov Zel'dovich realized that the then recently discovered cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) would be distorted by hot cosmic gas. Hot electrons ...

dateMar 13, 2015 in Astronomy
shares61 comments 1

How far back are we looking in time?

The Universe is a magic time window, allowing us to peer into the past. The further out we look, the further back in time we see. Despite our brains telling us things we see happen at the instant we view ...

dateMar 06, 2015 in Astronomy
shares499 comments 14

'Planck' puts Einstein to the test

Researchers, including physicists from Heidelberg University, have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analysing data from the "Planck" satellite mission of the European ...

dateMar 05, 2015 in Astronomy
shares134 comments 19