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Posts Tagged "radio astronomy"

Dark Star Diaries

How to See a Black Hole: Introducing Dark Star Diaries

Sagittarius A*

The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the “shadow” that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast. The glowing blob in the lower right corner is [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Black Holes: Incredibly Loud and Extremely Distant


This post is the third in a series that accompanies the upcoming publication of my book ‘Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos’ (Scientific American/FSG). In space it’s a good thing that you can’t hear black holes scream. Although some of the most incontrovertible evidence for the existence [...]

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Relative Masses of 7-Billion-Year-Old Protons and Electrons Confirmed to Match Those of Today’s Particles

100-m dish of Effelsberg radio telescope

The mass of the proton in relation to its much lighter counterpart, the electron, is known to great precision: the proton has 1836.152672 times the mass of the electron. But has it always been so? Quite possibly, according to new research which taps the cosmos as a vast fundamental-physics laboratory. A study of a distant [...]

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Giant Radio Telescope in West Virginia Scans Newfound Planets for Signs of Intelligent Life

Robert Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia

The search for alien civilizations is returning to its roots. In the latest chapter of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, researchers are using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to check out some of the distant worlds being discovered in droves by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Green Bank is where SETI began in [...]

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Budget crunch mothballs telescopes built to search for alien signals

The Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, California

The hunt for extraterrestrial life just lost one of its best tools. The Allen Telescope Array (ATA), a field of radio dishes in rural northern California built to seek out transmissions from distant alien civilizations, has been shuttered, at least temporarily, as its operators scramble to find a way to continue to fund it. In [...]

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