You thought black holes were strange? Think again.

One of the great challenges of modern physics is to reconcile quantum mechanics and relativity. Black holes are an excellent example of the incompatibility between the two theories, and quantum theorists have proposed various alternatives. While they all remain purely hypothetical, they also all seem much weirder than black holes …

Dwarfs, worms and phantoms – A few words about the astrophysical lexicon

Astrophysics sometimes sounds like science fiction: our Universe is filled with strange substances or objects, and theories describing its evolution or its nature can have some rather catchy names. Dwarf stars, dark matter, dark energy, Big bang, wormholes, phantom energy… What are all these things, and where do those funky names come from?

Solving the cosmological constant problems

Why is the expansion of the Universe accelerating? This question is one of the biggest mysteries faced by cosmologists; it is so puzzling that they finally called what causes the expansion to accelerate dark energy. Nobody knows the nature of this energy, as we have only been able to observe …

Remeasuring the Universe

Astronomers have just pushed another limit. They have directly measured the distance of a remote galaxy: it is 450 million light-years away from Earth, three times further in the cosmos than the previous record.
The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is a system of ten radio telescopes controlled remotely from the Array …

The fate of the Universe

When thinking about the Universe and looking at the sky, a natural question comes to everyone’s mind: how did all of this begin?
It is today commonly accepted that everything started with the Big Bang, a primordial explosion from which the Universe we see today has expanded.
On the other hand, you …

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