Another amazing week in our Universe beyond –from a new type of habitable planet to China’s plan for a spacecraft 30 times the size of the ISS to the new reality of UFOs and the detection of gravitational waves that could be from dark matter particles.
“Eliminating the singularity or Big Bang– which has its origins in the late 1920s when US astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that almost all galaxies are moving away from each other at ever-faster velocities– brings back the bouncing Universe on to the theoretical stage of cosmology. The absence of a singularity at the start of spacetime opens up the possibility that vestiges of a previous contraction phase may have withstood the phase change (between contraction to expansion) and may still be with us in the ongoing expansion of the Universe,” said Brazilian physicist Juliano Cesar Silva Neves.
“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” explained Christian Smorra, member of the BASE collaboration at the CERN research center. “An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?”
The closest stars to the Earth are also some of the best studied celestial objects. In Astrophysics, distance makes all the difference. The closer an object is, the more light we will be able to glean from it. Stars come in different types (masses, chemical compositions, ages), but the closest example of each type will be a critical object to study. In this article we review five fast facts about the closest systems to the Earth and what they mean for astrophysical studies.
In 2018, a long-hidden and especially tumultuous chapter in the Milky Way’s history was revealed: a smash-up between the young Galaxy and a colossal companion that once orbited the Milky Way like a planet around a star. “The two collided, massively altering the Galactic disk and scattering stars far and wide,” reported Nature about data captured by the Gaia Spacecraft that radically transformed how we see the evolution of our Galaxy. “It is the last-known major crash the Galaxy experienced before it assumed the familiar spiral shape seen today.”