Last week we talked about rogue stars. This week we’re going to take things up a notch and talk about an even more extreme event. Rogue black holes. Astronomers recently discovered a supermassive black hole on an escape trajectory, leaving newly forming stars in its wake. It’s wonderful, terrible, nightmare fuel.
The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation tells us so much about the Universe. After that era, the Universe went dark. Then, as gas pulled together into the first stars and eventually galaxies, light returned, beginning the Age of Reionization.
All the waiting is over, we’ve finally seen the image of the event horizon from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. Today we’re going to explain the picture, and what’s next for the Event Horizon Telescope.
As astronomers look out across the Universe, they see various objects spewing jets of material light years into space. What causes these jets, and what impact do they have on the Universe.
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning degenerate husks of dead stars, turning hundreds of times a second. But they’re also handy clocks, spinning with such certainty and accuracy that astronomers can use them for all kinds of stuff. We might even use them to navigate the cosmos.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three brilliant researchers who worked out some of the secrets of black holes. Today we’re going to talk about the chain of discoveries that led to this award.
Imagine an object with the mass of the Sun, crushed down to the size of Manhattan. Now set that object spinning hundreds of times a second, blasting out powerful beams of radiation like a lighthouse. That’s a pulsar, one of the most exotic objects in the Universe.
We’ve been so crazy following our own whims through the universe that we’ve neglected your questions. That ends today. It’s time to dig deep into our overflowing email box to retrieve the puzzling questions our listeners have sent in.
This week we’re going to study some of the most ancient objects in the entire Universe; globular clusters. These relics of the early Universe contain hundreds of thousands of stars, held together by their mutual gravity. Since they formed together, they give astronomers a unique way to test various theories of stellar evolution.
Huge stars become black holes, and small stars become white dwarfs. But medium-sized stars can become neutron stars; exotic objects that overcome the nuclear force holding protons and electrons apart. What was once the size of a star is compressed down to only a few dozen kilometres across.