The ESA has captured a stunning image of the 4.5 billion-year-old glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system we humans have named Sol, the Sun. We orbit our star some 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) distant, where, without its energy, life as we know it could not exist.
“When we look far into the distant universe, we are observing objects way in the past – when they were young. We expected to find that these distant giants would appear as a comparatively small pair of vague lobes. To our surprise, we found that these giants still appear enormous even though they are so far away,” said astrophysicist Michael D. Smith at University of Kent. Conventional wisdom tells us that large objects appear smaller as they get farther from us, but this fundamental law of classical physics is reversed when we observe the distant universe.
Fasten your starship seatbelt: although cosmic inflation is well known for resolving some important mysteries about the structure and evolution of the universe, other very different theories can also explain these mysteries. In some of the theories, the state of the universe preceding the Big Bang – the so-called primordial universe – was contracting instead of expanding, and the Big Bang was thus a part of a Big Bounce.
Several of the world’s leading astronomers and scientists emailed their thoughts to The Daily Galaxy on the significance of the fist image by the Event Horizon Collaboration of our Galaxy’s supermassive black hole. Their comments validate Albert Einstein’s observation that “the scientific imagination is a preview of coming attractions.”
“The R-Process Alliance aims to answer the big, unanswered questions related to decoding the mysteries of the oldest stars in the Milky Way–by bringing together an interdisciplinary group of observers, theorists, and experimentalists,” University of Michigan astronomer Ian Roederer wrote in an email to The Daily Galaxy, about the discovery of a relatively bright star HD 222925. The ancient object is a rare, ninth-magnitude star located toward the southern constellation Tucana, where astronomers have been able to identify the widest range of elements in its photosphere, more than in any star beyond our solar system.