Deep Dives

What is Dark Energy? Inside our accelerating, expanding Universe

11 min read

Some 13.8 billion years ago, the universe began with a rapid expansion we call the big bang. After this initial expansion, which lasted a fraction of a second, gravity started to slow the universe down. But the cosmos wouldn’t stay…

Article3 weeks ago

Gamma-ray Bursts: Harvesting Knowledge From the Universe’s Most Powerful Explosions

7 min read

The most powerful events in the known universe – gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) – are short-lived outbursts of the highest-energy light. They can erupt with a quintillion (a 10 followed by 18 zeros) times the luminosity of our Sun. Now thought…

Article3 months ago

Star Clusters: Inside the Universe’s Stellar Collections

6 min read

Billions of trillions of stars speckle the universe. Star clusters are groups of stars that share an origin, forming at roughly the same time and location, and are tied together by gravity for up to millions or even billions of…

Article10 months ago

What is Betelgeuse? Inside the Strange, Volatile Star

6 min read

A blazing red supergiant shining brilliantly in the night sky, Betelgeuse is a star that has captured attention for centuries.

Article10 months ago

What Happens When Something Gets ‘Too Close’ to a Black Hole?

7 min read

Can a star be squeezed like a tube of toothpaste, flattened like a pancake, or stretched out like a piece of spaghetti? If there’s a black hole nearby, maybe. Scattered across the universe, black holes are objects with gravity so…

Article10 months ago

Dust in the Stellar Wind: A Cosmological Primer

5 min read

The handsome Horsehead Nebula, rearing up against glowing red gas, is sculpted from dust. Like many of the most iconic images in astronomy, the nebula is made of thick clouds of the stuff, part of a vast molecular cloud complex…

Article10 months ago