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dark matter

An illustration of a planet in front of a star.
Abstractions blog

Physics Nobel Honors Early Universe and Exoplanet Discoveries

October 8, 2019

The astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won half of the prize for their 1995 discovery of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a nearby star. The cosmologist James Peebles won the other half for work exploring the structure of the universe.

An illustration of the cosmologists Wendy Freedman and Adam Riess debating the expansion rate of the universe at a recent meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California.

Cosmologists Debate How Fast the Universe Is Expanding

August 8, 2019

New measurements could upend the standard theory of the cosmos that has reigned since the discovery of dark energy 21 years ago.

Art for "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis"
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis

April 29, 2019

A strange glow coming from the Milky Way’s center was thought to be due to ordinary pulsars. But a new look at a years-old study shows that dark matter might still be responsible.

Photo of Priya Natarajan

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

February 4, 2019

Priyamvada Natarajan has pioneered the mapping and modeling of the universe’s invisible contents, especially dark matter and supermassive black holes.

Art for "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many"

Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many

January 9, 2019

Astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now they have the opposite problem.

Art for "Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock"
dark matter

Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock

January 7, 2019

Dark matter may occasionally interact with minerals in the earth, leaving telltale tracks that physicists hope to decipher.

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

November 13, 2018

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Illustration of a galaxy simulation.

The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It

June 12, 2018

Computer simulations have become so accurate that cosmologists can now use them to study dark matter, supermassive black holes and other mysteries of the real evolving cosmos.

Photo of Large Magellan Cloud rotating clockwise.
Abstractions blog

What Astronomers Are Learning From Gaia’s New Milky Way Map

May 8, 2018

A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.