“A Darker, Deeper Cosmos” –Looking Beyond the Standard Model

Dark Matter Filaments


Could dark matter particles the size of galaxies exist, or a anti-gravitational force field we call “dark energy” that might be getting stronger and denser, leading to a future in which atoms are ripped apart and time ends?


“Unknown Dark Object” –Burst an Enormous Hole in the Milky Way

ESA Black Hole Image


An enormous “something” more massive than a star, appears to have torn a hole in part of the Milky Way’s halo. The “dark substructure” was found in data from Gaia spacecraft observations—a mission producing the most detailed 3D map of our galaxy—with Harvard’s Ana Bonaca noticing a perturbation in a tidal stream. Bonaca is a leading authority on how the tidal field of the Milky Way galaxy disrupts globular clusters, and what the resulting debris can tell us about the underlying distribution of dark matter. (more…)

Unveiling the Dark-Matter Universe -“Tracers from the First Galaxies”

Lost Hubble Frontier Image


The universe, perhaps surprisingly, is not comprised of galaxies randomly distributed throughout space; that is, it is not very homogeneous. Instead, its galaxies are clustered into distinct structures that harbor dark matter, typically gigantic filaments separated by vast voids—the “large-scale structure (LSS),” an architecture whose discovery and mappings were pioneered by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomers about thirty years ago.


“Nothing Like Ours” -Billions of Years from Now a Strange, Lonely Universe Emerges


galaxy MCG+01-02-015


“The Hubble tension between the early and late universe may be the most exciting development in cosmology in decades,” says Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University. New Hubble Space Telescope data suggests a faster expansion rate in the modern universe than expected based on how the universe appeared more than 13 billion years ago, strengthening the case that new theories may be needed to explain the dark energy forces that have shaped the cosmos. 


“X-Ray Map of the Cosmos” –Unveils Unknown Supermassive Black Holes

Supernassive black hole


“Have you seen your body in X-rays? It looks completely different,” says astrophysicist Rashid Sunyaev. “We will do the same with the Universe.” Sunyaev, an eminent Soviet-born cosmologist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics about a joint German–Russian mission called Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) will launch into space to create a 3D x-ray map of the cosmos that will reveal how the Universe accelerates under the mysterious repulsive force called dark energy and detect up to three million supermassive black holes.