Measuring distances in the universe with fast radio bursts

Now and then there is a bright radio flash somewhere in the sky. It can last anywhere from a few milliseconds to a few seconds. They appear somewhat at random, and we still aren't sure what they are. We call them fast radio ...

Results from South Pole Telescope's new camera emerge

For more than five years, scientists at the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica have been observing the sky with an upgraded camera. The extended gaze toward the cosmos is picking up remnant light from the universe's early ...

Webb spots a second lensed supernova in a distant galaxy

In November 2023, the James Webb Space Telescope observed a massive cluster of galaxies named MACS J0138.0-2155. Through an effect called gravitational lensing, first predicted by Albert Einstein, a distant galaxy named MRG-M0138 ...

Can Webb find the first stars in the universe?

The universe's very first stars had an important job. They formed from the primordial elements created by the Big Bang, so they contained no metals. It was up to them to synthesize the first metals and spread them out into ...

New dark matter theory explains two puzzles in astrophysics

Thought to make up 85% of matter in the universe, dark matter is nonluminous and its nature is not well understood. While normal matter absorbs, reflects, and emits light, dark matter cannot be seen directly, making it harder ...

Gaia is so accurate it can predict microlensing events

The ESA's Gaia Observatory continues its astrometry mission, which consists of measuring the positions, distances, and motions of stars (and the positions of orbiting exoplanets) with unprecedented precision. Launched in ...

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