Astrophysics

The infant universeAn all-sky picture of the infant universe revealing 13.77 billion-year-old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. (Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

Astrophysics is a branch of astronomy that explores the physical properties of the cosmos and its composition. Astrophysicists study a broad range of topics, from the tiniest particles of matter and the forces that join them together to the grandest of celestial structures. In essence, astrophysics extends the workings of physics and chemistry that we experience directly here on Earth into the vastness of space. It is both an observational and theoretical science. To probe the universe's past, present and future, astrophysicists have built some of the most complex and precise machines in the world, including terrestrial and space-based telescopes tuned to various wavelengths. The continued seeking of new discoveries is constantly pushing the limits of telescope and model-building technology. 

Planck Space Telescope Brings Early Universe into Focus

Feb 16, 2015
Planck space telescope

The latest data release from the Planck space telescope offers insight into everything from the fabric of space to dark matter – and may even have a shot at detecting gravitational waves, says Kavli Institute for Cosmology Director George Efstathiou.

Spotlight Live: Looking Back in Time - Oldest Light in Existence Offers Insight into the Universe

Feb 16, 2015

ON FEBRUARY 18, 2015 three preeminent scientists came together to discuss the latest results, what they mean for the theory of inflation, and what we can expect to learn about the very early universe in the coming decade.

Spotlight Live: Earth-like Planets in Other Solar Systems (Transcript)

Feb 11, 2015

During a recent Google Hangout, three astrophysicists discussed what we can learn about the planets in other solar systems, and answer viewers' questions about how close we are to discovering other Earths. Read a modified transcript of their discussion.

Bubbles From the Center of Our Galaxy: A Key to Understanding Dark Matter and the Milky Way's Past?

Jan 26, 2015

Fresh from the January Rossi Prize Lecture, the scientists who discovered the “Fermi bubbles,” two of the largest structures in the Milky Way, say the bubbles can tell of our galaxy’s past – and even help find dark matter.

Spotlight Live: Microbes and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Jan 26, 2015
Exoplanet

On January 28, astrobiologists Jocelyne DiRuggiero and Christopher McKay discussed how microbiomes - the communities of microbes that inhabit different ecosystems - is driving the search for life elsewhere in the universe.

Microbiome & Astrobiology: How to Search for Life on Other Worlds

Jan 25, 2015

Armed with new knowledge about how microbes persist even in the Earth’s harshest environments, astrobiologists are planning the next missions to search for life in our solar system. Their bets are on microbes.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up (Transcript)

Dec 11, 2014

Scientists working on the three newest dark matter experiments are hopeful that we’ll soon understand a quarter of the universe – but they’re making no promises.

Spotlight Live: Earth-like Planets in Other Solar Systems (Transcript)

Nov 09, 2014

During a recent Google Hangout, three astrophysicists discussed what we can learn about the planets in other solar systems, and answer viewers' questions about how close we are to discovering other Earths. Read a modified transcript of their discussion.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up

Nov 04, 2014

Three recently funded dark matter experiments have a good shot at glimpsing these long-sought particles. Three scientists on these projects debate the state of the hunt for dark matter, discuss the status of their experiments, and answer your questions.

New Dark Matter Experiments Prepare to Hunt the Unknown

Oct 22, 2014

Three new dark matter experiments are moving ahead with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. National Science Foundation — will one of them finally capture a glimpse of the universe's most elusive material?

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Astrophysics