Pinning down the mass of a galaxy may seem like an esoteric undertaking, but scientists think it holds the key to unraveling the nature of the elusive, yet-to-be-seen dark matter, and the fabric of our cosmos.
One of the unsolved mysteries in modern science is why the expansion of the universe appears to be accelerating. As astrophysicists look for answers in the mountains of data gathered from astronomical observations, they are finding that inconsistencies in that data might ultimately lead to the truth.
Astronomers have inventoried a sizable share of the universe's stars, galaxies, comets, and black holes. But are planets with sustainable civilizations also something the universe contains? Or does every civilization that may have arisen in the cosmos last only a few centuries before it falls to the climate change it triggers?
Even after the direct measurement of their gravitational waves, there are still mysteries surrounding black holes. What happens when two black holes merge, or when stars collide with a black hole? This has now been simulated by researchers using a novel numerical method.
By targeting the most massive galaxies in our universe, astronomers have studied how their stars move. The results are surprising: while half of them spin around their short axis as expected, the other half turn around their long axis.
Capitalizing on the unparalleled sharpness and spectral range of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers is releasing the most comprehensive, high-resolution ultraviolet-light survey of nearby star-forming galaxies.