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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jun 07, 2019. 11 comments

Astronomers Spot Mysterious, 10-Million-Light-Year-Long Magnetic Field Connecting Two Galaxy Clusters

Astronomers Spot Mysterious, 10-Million-Light-Year-Long Magnetic Field Connecting Two Galaxy Clusters

Scientists have detected radio waves emanating from the space between a pair of galaxy clusters—evidence of intergalactic magnetic fields and fast-moving particles in the space between these giant galactic assemblages.

The universe is comprised of a vast network of galaxy clusters sitting at the intersection of filaments. Galactic filaments are massive, threadlike formations of matter that...

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Daniel Kolitz Daniel Kolitz Feb 18, 2019. 20 comments

What's at the Edge of the Universe?

What's at the Edge of the Universe?
Giz AsksIn this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything from space to butts and get answers from a variety of experts.  

It is a routine emotion in 2019 to urgently wish, four or five times in a day, to be launched not simply into space but to the very edge of the universe, as far as it is possible to get from the fever dream of bad weather, busted trains and potentially cancerous...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 03, 2018. 2 comments

Why Scientists Tried to Measure All of the Starlight That Ever Shone

Why Scientists Tried to Measure All of the Starlight That Ever Shone

Astronomers this week announced that they’d attempted to measure all of the starlight in the universe.

You might wonder why. Ultimately, they’re trying to tell the universe’s story.

“We wanted to know how star formation history proceeded,” Kari Helgason, scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, told Gizmodo.

The entire universe is diffuse with “extragalactic background...

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Catie Keck Catie Keck Oct 29, 2018.

End of the Universe, Monsters of Climate Change, and Death: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

End of the Universe, Monsters of Climate Change, and Death: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

As we’re all essentially just killing time ahead of our inevitable death, Gizmodo this week explored death and deadly things in all of their various forms.

Reporting on a monster that transcends time and space , Earther explored the personification of the climate crisis. Gizmodo reported on an urban legend about human ashes being scattered around Disneyland and the special code used among...

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 19, 2018. 19 comments

Trying to Understand the Size of This New Space Discovery Will Short-Circuit Your Brain

Trying to Understand the Size of This New Space Discovery Will Short-Circuit Your Brain

Light’s speed limit means that looking into the distance is the same as looking into the past: The farther incoming light travels, the older it is. Out in the distance, scientists have spotted a truly enormous, ancient “proto-supercluster,” dubbed Hyperion, which could help explain how the universe forms some of its largest structures.

Hyperion is the largest structure discovered so far at...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 17, 2018. 22 comments

We Could Solve the Mysteries of Time and Space—If We Had a Particle Accelerator the Size of the Solar System

We Could Solve the Mysteries of Time and Space—If We Had a Particle Accelerator the Size of the Solar System
Dream ExperimentThis Gizmodo series asks scientists to imagine their perfect experiment, unconstrained by resources, time, or the current limits of technology.  

Gravity is incredibly weak. Just think: You can lift your foot despite the mass of the entire Earth pulling against it. Why is it so weak? That’s unclear. And it might take a very, very big science experiment to find out.

James Beacham...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Sep 14, 2018. 8 comments

Hubble Captures Image of a Truly Warped 'Dragon' 

Hubble Captures Image of a Truly Warped 'Dragon' 

An ambitious use of the Hubble Space Telescope hopes to map some of the biggest, brightest, and furthest galaxies to understand the structure of our universe. Above is a picture from that survey, featuring a strange, warped feature called the Dragon.

You may have seen the Hubble Deep Field image—the telescope pointed to a seemingly dark spot of sky, only to reveal it glimmering with distant...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 18, 2018. 16 comments

Huge Patch of Universe Is Strangely Opaque Despite Its Lack of Galaxies

Huge Patch of Universe Is Strangely Opaque Despite Its Lack of Galaxies

The mere fact that we live in a universe boggles my mind every once in a while. But thankfully, our cosmic home is a place that follows rules; the laws of physics seem to agree everywhere, and galaxies are uniformly distributed throughout. Except for in this 300-million-light-year-long region, which seems to be missing something.

Scientists observed an opaque region of space in front of a...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 15, 2018. 5 comments

Can We Measure Our Own Galaxy Speeding Through Space?

Can We Measure Our Own Galaxy Speeding Through Space?

You’re probably sitting still, right? Wrong, absolutely wrong. Not only are you on a spinning orb, but you’re also traveling around 70,000 miles per hour around a star, in a galaxy that, observations imply, is sailing through space at over a million miles per hour.

If the above numbers seem shocking, they shouldn’t be. The laws of physics look and feel the same for any object so long as it’s...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum May 17, 2018. 1 comments

Hints of the First Stars Seen in 13-Billion-Year-Old Oxygen

Hints of the First Stars Seen in 13-Billion-Year-Old Oxygen

Scientists have spotted 13-billion-year-old oxygen in a distant galaxy—a signal of stars forming during the universe’s earliest days.

Locating the oldest galaxies and understanding how they contributed to the evolution of our universe is perhaps one off astronomy’s key goals, say the scientists behind the new results in their just-published paper. The international team looked at a distant...

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Daniel Kolitz Daniel Kolitz Apr 30, 2018. 2 comments

What Shapes Are Things in Outer Space?

What Shapes Are Things in Outer Space?
Giz AsksIn this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything from space to butts and get answers from a variety of experts.  

It’s an orgy of geometry, here on Earth. You got all kinds of shapes: Squares, trapezoids, even the occasional rhombus. Apples, desk-chairs, and dandelions—just an abundance of shape-having stuff. Outer space, in contrast, is minimally decorated: asteroids, stars,...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 21, 2018. 3 comments

Ultra-Cold Atoms Recreate the Expanding Universe in Tabletop Experiment

Ultra-Cold Atoms Recreate the Expanding Universe in Tabletop Experiment

Eerie similarities unite vastly different scientific ideas in sometimes utterly surprising ways. One of these similarities may have allowed scientists to recreate the expanding universe—on a countertop.

Researchers accomplished their feat using Bose-Einstein condensates, which are collections of certain atoms held to the near coldest-possible temperatures. Bose-Einstein condensates let...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 06, 2018. 11 comments

The Making of 'Pillars of Creation,' One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe

The Making of 'Pillars of Creation,' One of the Most Amazing Images of Our Universe

Pretty Scientific is a new Gizmodo series where we explore how the best images in science were created and why.

Three pillars of gas and dust sit among stars like towers of billowing smoke. It would take several years for light to cross from the top to the bottom of these dusty columns. This striking image from the Hubble Space Telescope remains, to this day, one of the most well-known...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 04, 2018. 3 comments

Scientists Make Enormous Map of the Early Universe to See What Our Galaxy Looked Like as a Baby

Scientists Make Enormous Map of the Early Universe to See What Our Galaxy Looked Like as a Baby

How do we find a tiny shred of self-understanding in this vast universe? More simply: how did we get here? A proper map could help us answer this question.

And a map scientists are making. A team of researchers in Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States have presented a new map that records galaxies deep into the distance of a small swath of sky. They revealed a...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 04, 2018. 6 comments

Scientists Used Galaxies as Magnifying Lenses to See Individual Stars Billions of Light-Years Away

Scientists Used Galaxies as Magnifying Lenses to See Individual Stars Billions of Light-Years Away

When you look up into the night sky, you see lots of stars—but all of them are members of our own Milky Way galaxy. With the help of some spacetime-warping science, though, our eyes can now peer much deeper into distant space.

Two teams of scientists report seeing single, twinkling stars in galaxies billions of light years away with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope. All they needed was...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Mar 10, 2018. 9 comments

Researchers Devise a New Way to Solve Long-Standing Mystery About the Universe

Researchers Devise a New Way to Solve Long-Standing Mystery About the Universe

We know that the universe is expanding, but a strange discrepancy in just how fast that expansion is occurring continues to confound physicists—and make them wonder whether there’s some new, unexplained physics afoot.

For every 3.3 million light years, or one megaparsec, the universe expands around another 70 kilometers per second faster. There are two discrepant measurements of this so-called...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Mar 01, 2018. 7 comments

Scientists Discover Long-Sought Evidence of First Stars Forming

Scientists Discover Long-Sought Evidence of First Stars Forming

When you sweep across the FM radio band, you don’t always hear music—mostly, you hear static. Lots of this ambient noise is actually garbled signals from throughout the Milky Way. If you had perhaps the most sensitive FM receiver on Earth, you might pick up the tiniest dip in volume: a signal that comes not from our galaxy, but from the earliest stars in the Universe.

A team of scientists at...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Feb 22, 2018. 16 comments

New Results Challenge Basic Ideas of Supermassive Black Holes

New Results Challenge Basic Ideas of Supermassive Black Holes

Galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers—our Milky Way, for example, has its own 4-million-solar-mass one, Sagittarius A*. Some astronomers have previously thought that there’s a simple relationship between the galaxy’s size, the black hole’s mass, and how much light the black hole spits out while it eats up the things surrounding it. But a pair of papers studying the biggest...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Feb 02, 2018. 18 comments

Synchronized Galactic Orbit Challenges Our Best Theory of How the Universe Works

Synchronized Galactic Orbit Challenges Our Best Theory of How the Universe Works

Scientists thought the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies were unique: They’ve got rings of smaller dwarf galaxies orbiting in what seems to be a synchronized fashion. But when a team of scientists recently looked at another galaxy, they realized it also seemed to shepherd a flock of dwarfs in a strange, synchronized dance. That’s not supposed to happen.

An international team of four researchers...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Feb 01, 2018. 14 comments

Multiverse Thought Experiment Suggests Life Could Still Exist Under Different Laws of Physics

Multiverse Thought Experiment Suggests Life Could Still Exist Under Different Laws of Physics

Perhaps we’re not alone but instead reside in a multiverse stocked with all sorts of fantastical realms. These other universes are somewhat—but not exactly—like our own. Maybe gravity acts differently, or particles come in different shapes and sizes. Could life still exist in any of these bubbles?

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan asked these questions but took things a step...

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