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Astronomers Just Zoomed Stunningly Close to The Event Horizon of Our Galaxy's Black Hole

Telescopes around the world have joined forces to try to provide us with our first photograph of a black hole. That's still a few months off, at least, but all that staring at a black hole is already starting to produce results.

In 2013, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) radio telescope in Chile joined the global telescope collective that makes up the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), to take observations of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.


And it almost doubled the longest baseline length in the array, leading to observation of the finest details yet of the space right around the event horizon of this black hole.
Now, we can't actually see black holes. They're thought to be incredibly dense collapsed stars with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape - and if there's nothing coming out of them, we can't detect them.
What we can detect is the space around them, along with matter as it falls int…
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The Kardashev Scale – Type I, II, III, IV & V Civilization

We have reached a turning point in society and also in our civilization. According to renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, the next 100 years of science will determine whether we perish or thrive. Will we remain a Type 0 civilization, or will we advance and make our way into the stars? 



Experts assert that, as a civilization grows larger and becomes more advanced, its energy demands will increase rapidly due to its population growth and the energy requirements of its various machines. With this in mind, the Kardashev scale was developed as a way of measuring a civilization’s technological advancement based upon how much usable energy it has at its disposal (this was originally just tied to energy available for communications, but has since been expanded).
MEET THE KARDASHEV SCALE
The scale was originally designed in 1964 by the Russian astrophysicist  Nikolai Kardashev (who was looking for signs of extraterrestrial life within cosmic signals). It has 3 base classes, each with an e…

Here is What It Actually Looks Like When Two Black Holes Collide

What happens to a black hole when it collides with another black hole? This new model shows you closely. The question of just what could possibly happen when two black holes come across at a very very close distance is one that we have been involved with for a while.
But, even still we understand a little about how the whole procedure might go down in theory as the two black holes merge, what we actually haven't identified is how it would look like.
A new study paper displayed on ArXiv by a team of scientists directed by Cornell University's Andy Bohn proceeds on just that question. Although other efforts at picturing the procedure have done a good job, they haven't considered how the movement of light through space-time and the physics of visualization would come organized to generate the visual. Here is what the published paper says: “In this paper, we focus on the question of what an observer in the vicinity of a BBH would actually see as the black holes orbit, spiral inw…

The Most Intense Cosmic Explosion Out There Has Been Captured as It Happened

The most powerful kind of cosmic explosions known to science are called gamma-ray bursts – aka 'death from space' – galactic events so fierce their awesome intensity is only surpassed by the Big Bang itself. Now, an international team of astronomers has observed one of these violent outbursts of energy in unprecedented detail, witnessing a distant, giant star in its destructive death throes like never before.
"Gamma-ray bursts are catastrophic events, related to the explosion of massive stars 50 times the size of our Sun," explains one of the researchers, Eleonora Troja from the University of Maryland. “In a matter of seconds, the process can emit as much energy as a star the size of our Sun would in its entire lifetime."
These intense flashes are thought to occur all the time, but thankfully they usually take place in galaxies billions of light-years away from Earth, sparing us from intense jets of particles thrust at the speed of light from collapsing stars. Bec…

Hyper-dense Pulsar May Nix Einstein's Theory of Gravity- New NRAO Discovery

The three-body arrangement is researchers’ best chance yet to learn a violation of a key idea in Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity: the strong equivalence principle, which says that that the outcome of gravity on a body does not rest on the nature or inner structure of that body.
A recently discovered arrangement of two white dwarf stars and a super dense pulsar, all filled within a space lesser than the Earth’s orbit around the sun, is allowing astronomers to review a variety of cosmic mysteries, counting the actual nature of gravity itself. Initially exposed by an American graduate student by means of the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope, the pulsar, which is about 4,200 light-years from Earth, rotating approximately 366 times per second, was found to be in close by orbit with a white dwarf star and the couple is in orbit with additional, more distant white dwarf.
Stairs, with UBC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said “By doing very high-precision …

Putting Multiverse Theory To The Test

Say our universe is a bubble. And there’s another universe in another bubble. Researchers have simulated what it would look like if the two bubbles bumped against each other, and their work could reveal the telltale signs of colliding universes -- suggesting that the multiverse theory isn’t just a wild idea, but a testable hypothesis. 
“We’re trying to find out what the testable predictions of this picture would be, and then going out and looking for them,” Matthew Johnson from the Perimeter Institute says in a news release. “We’re now able to say that some models predict something that we should be able to see, and since we don’t in fact see it, we can rule those models out.”
To put multiverse theory to the test, Johnson and colleagues imagined the simplest kind of multiple universe setup -- one in which our universe represents one of two such bubbles. Their research models what would happen if those two universes collided, and what that collision might look like to astronomers here on…

Wait, Pluto Might Be A Planet Again!

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a few days ago, decided to once again solve the problem of "what actually is a planet?" The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics held a discussion between three prominent experts in planetary science, each of whom offered their case as to what a planet is or isn't.
The aim was to resolve a definition that the excited public viewers could agree on. The video of this discussion is now accessible online: