A disturbed galactic duo

The galaxies in this cosmic pairing, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, display some curious features, demonstrating that each member of the duo is close enough to feel the distorting gravitational influence of the other. The gravitational tug of war has warped the spiral shape of one galaxy, NGC 3169, and fragmented the dust lanes in its companion NGC 3166. Meanwhile, a third, smaller galaxy to the lower right, NGC 3165, has a front-row seat to the gravitational twisting and pulling of its bigger neighbours.

Best-ever look at pulsars: LOFAR takes the pulse of the radio sky

A powerful new telescope is allowing an international team of scientists to have their

WISE delivers millions of galaxies, stars, asteroids

Astronomers across the globe can now sift through hundreds of millions of galaxies, stars and asteroids collected in the first bundle of data from NASA

Antimatter gravity could explain Universe's expansion

(PhysOrg.com) -- In 1998, scientists discovered that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Currently, the most widely accepted explanation for this observation is the presence of an unidentified dark energy, although several other possibilities have been proposed. One of these alternatives is that some kind of repulsive gravity – or antigravity – is pushing the Universe apart. As a new study shows, general relativity predicts that the gravitational interaction between matter and antimatter is mutually repulsive, and could potentially explain the observed expansion of the Universe without the need for dark energy.

Big Bang simulated in metamaterial shows time travel is impossible

(PhysOrg.com) -- By observing the way that light moves inside a metamaterial, researchers have reconstructed how spacetime has expanded since the Big Bang. The results provide a better understanding of why time moves in only one direction, and also suggest that time travel is impossible.

First galaxies were born much earlier than expected

Using the amplifying power of a cosmic gravitational lens, astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy whose stars were born unexpectedly early in cosmic history. This result sheds new light on the formation of the first galaxies, as well as on the early evolution of the Universe.

Huge asteroid to pass near Earth in November

The Asteroid 2005 YU55, about 1,300 feet in diameter, will approach Earth within 0.85 lunar distances in early November 2011. Discovered on December 28,

NASA telescopes observe unprecedented explosion

One of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed has been observed by NASA

Empty universe: cosmology in the year 100 billion

Only a single island of stars remains, floating in an unutterably vast, unutterably empty ocean of space. This is a vision of the Milky Way when the cosmos is

White dwarfs could be fertile ground for other Earths

University of Washington associate professor of astronomy Eric Agol has proposed that potentially habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs could be much

Dark statistics

The hypothetical dark flow seen in the movement of galaxy clusters requires that we can reliably identify a clear statistical correlation in the motion of distant objects which are, in any case, flowing outwards with the expansion of the universe and may also have their own individual (or peculiar) motion arising from gravitational interactions.

An elegant multiverse? Professor Brian Greene considers the possibilities

You might think it’s hard to have a conversation with theoretical physicist Brian Greene. His research specialty is superstring theory, the hypothesis that everything in the universe is made up of miniscule, vibrating strands of energy. Luckily for an interviewer, Greene has a knack for explaining difficult concepts to non-scientists.

Physicists investigate lower dimensions of the universe

(PhysOrg.com) -- Several speculative theories in physics involve extra dimensions beyond our well-known four (which are broken down into three dimensions of space and one of time). Some theories have suggested 5, 10, 26, or more, with the extra spatial dimensions "hiding" within our observable three dimensions. One thing that all of these extra dimensions have in common is that none has ever been experimentally detected; they are all mathematical predictions.