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astrophysics

astrophysics

After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?

Q&A

From Einstein’s Theory to Gravity’s Chirp

The path from a revolutionary set of equations to the detection of gravitational waves was strewn with obstacles and controversy, explains the physicist Daniel Kennefick — and the struggle continues.

astrophysics

Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last

Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy.

Q&A

The Case for Complex Dark Matter

The physicist James Bullock explains how a complicated “dark sector” of interacting particles may illuminate some puzzling observations of the centers of galaxies.

cosmology

Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt

Scientists haven’t tested the Big Bang’s light for a revealing shift in 25 years. A new experiment aims to change that.

astrophysics

The Particle That Broke a Cosmic Speed Limit

Physicists are beginning to unravel the mysteries of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, particles accelerated by the most powerful forces in the universe.

astrophysics

Strange Stars Pulse to the Golden Mean

Nature has revealed peculiar mathematical objects that connect order and chaos.

cosmology

Joint Dust Analysis Deflates Big Bang Signal

No definitive evidence for cosmic inflation is found, but support remains strong for the theory even as critics highlight its shortcomings as an explanation for how and why the universe began.

astrophysics

Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matter

For five years physicists have been tantalized by possible evidence of dark matter in the Milky Way’s center. But new results from small satellite galaxies have complicated the story.