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astrophysics

Andrea Ghez in Hawaii
Q&A

Black-Hole Hunter Takes Aim at Einstein

The astrophysicist Andrea Ghez spent two decades proving that a supermassive black hole anchors the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Her new plan? Test what happens when things get too close.

Supernova 1987A remnants
astrophysics

Lucky Break Leads to Controversial Supernova Discovery

Supernova hunters were able to train their telescopes on a recent eruption just hours after it exploded. What they found only adds to the growing list of questions surrounding these cosmic blasts.

LIGO Hanford and Livingston
gravitational waves

Strange Noise in Gravitational-Wave Data Sparks Debate

The team that discovered gravitational waves put their data online. Now an independent group of researchers claims that they’ve found what might be a serious problem.

Dwarf irregular galaxy
Abstractions blog

Researchers Check Space-Time to See if It’s Made of Quantum Bits

The newly developed theory of emergent gravity, proposed as an alternative to dark matter, struggles in one of its first trials.

Rainer Weiss
Thinking Places

Rainer Weiss, Remembering the Little Room in the Plywood Palace

The physicist who designed the LIGO experiment that detected gravitational waves still holes up in a small basement lab surrounded by electronics and optical instruments.

Andromeda galaxy
Abstractions blog

How Superfluid Dark Matter Mimics an Old Idea About Gravity

Does the force of gravity change at large scales? Perhaps not, but a new theory of dark matter shows why that could appear to be the case.

Dark matter superfluid
dark matter

Dark Matter Recipe Calls for One Part Superfluid

A different kind of dark matter could help to resolve an old celestial conundrum.

Black hole merger
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.

Light from the first galaxies clears the universe.
astrophysics

Discoveries Fuel Fight Over Universe’s First Light

A series of observations at the very edge of the universe has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.