Astrophysics

The American Astronomical Society awarded former Members in the School of Natural Sciences with prestigious prizes for outstanding achievements in scientific research, instrument development, and writing.
Since 2009, astrophysicists have been trying to explain the abundance of gamma radiation diffusing from the center of the Milky Way, a production of high-energy radiation far beyond what the known gamma-ray sources suggest. Tracy Slatyer, former Member in the School of Natural Sciences, has...
Everything that humans have seen up until now exists in the 4.9 per cent of the universe that interacts with light. The rest is hidden from view. Most of it, physicists believe—68.3 per cent—is dark energy, an enigmatic force that drives...
The life of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar , astrophysicist and former Member in the School of Natural Sciences, was celebrated with Google Doodle's October 19 animation. Published on what would have been Chandrasekhar's 107th birthday, the Doodle is a simple illustration of one of his most...
Dark matter is as tangible as stars and planets to most astronomers. We routinely map it out. We conceive of galaxies as lumps of dark matter with dabs of luminous material. We understand the formation of cosmic structure, as well as the evolution of the...
For as long as modern science has existed, scientists have attempted to answer such unanswerable questions by trying to either reconcile science and religion, like Galileo did in defending his theories against the Inquisition and Ada Lovelace did in considering the interconnectedness of the universe,...
After a decade of searching and verification, a research team revealed a new exoplanet, and you could say it’s coming in hot. The orb is the hottest giant exoplanet ever found, according to a study published in Nature . “KELT-9b” intrigues astronomers not...
For the third time in less than two years, physicists have detected billion-year-old ripples in the fabric of space-time. The new recording, like the two others before it, was made using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory ( LIGO ). . . . LIGO's third...
What struck me was some regularity in the anomaly. The rotational velocities were not just larger than expected, they became constant with radius. Why? Sure, if there was dark matter, the speed of stars would be greater, but the rotation curves, meaning the rotational speed...
As part of the Ideas Roadshow series "Research Insights," Scott Tremaine , Richard Black Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, discusses astrophysical wonders, including comets, Pluto, planetary rings, shepherding satellites, exoplanets, chaos theory, and how our solar system was formed. View the...
Welcome to the Universe (Princeton University Press, 2016) by Michael A. Strauss , Member in the School of Natural Sciences (1991–95), Neil deGrasse Tyson, and J. Richard Gott has been cited on the New York Times 's Best Sellers in Science list. Written...
One gets the sense that Freeman Dyson has seen everything. It’s not just that at 92 he’s had a front row seat on scientific breakthroughs for the past century, or that he’s been friends and colleagues with many of the giants of 20th-century...