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teded:

View the TED-Ed Lesson How do we measure distances in space? - Yuan-Sen Ting

When we look at the sky, we have a flat, two-dimensional view. So how do astronomers figure the distances of stars and galaxies from Earth? Yuan-Sen Ting shows us how trigonometric parallaxes, standard candles and more help us determine the distance of objects several billion light years away from Earth.

Leaky Galaxy Mimics First Light in Early Universe
A densely packed star-forming galaxy is reproducing the events that brought light to the early universe.
The nearby compact galaxy named J0921+4509, which is rapidly producing stars, has many of the characteristics that would have been required to light up the early universe. Located approximately 3 billion light-years from the Milky Way, the star-forming regions of the tightly bound galaxy are surrounded by dense clouds of gas. Holes in the gas allow radiation to leak out, mimicking events that would have broken through the darkness that followed the birth of the universe.
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Leaky Galaxy Mimics First Light in Early Universe

A densely packed star-forming galaxy is reproducing the events that brought light to the early universe.

The nearby compact galaxy named J0921+4509, which is rapidly producing stars, has many of the characteristics that would have been required to light up the early universe. Located approximately 3 billion light-years from the Milky Way, the star-forming regions of the tightly bound galaxy are surrounded by dense clouds of gas. Holes in the gas allow radiation to leak out, mimicking events that would have broken through the darkness that followed the birth of the universe.

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Best Alien Planet Weather Map Ever Reveals a Scorching World
A super-hot planet 260 light-years from Earth is showing signs of water vapor in its atmosphere, despite scorching temperatures that are hot enough to melt steel, according to the best weather map ever created of an alien world.
The Jupiter-size alien planet, called WASP-43b, is so hot that daytime temperatures reach 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 degrees Celsius). At night, it’s a bit cooler — about 1,000 F (537 C) — still hot enough to melt silver.
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Best Alien Planet Weather Map Ever Reveals a Scorching World

A super-hot planet 260 light-years from Earth is showing signs of water vapor in its atmosphere, despite scorching temperatures that are hot enough to melt steel, according to the best weather map ever created of an alien world.

The Jupiter-size alien planet, called WASP-43b, is so hot that daytime temperatures reach 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 degrees Celsius). At night, it’s a bit cooler — about 1,000 F (537 C) — still hot enough to melt silver.

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thecrashcourse:

Schizophrenia & Dissociative Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #32

Did you know that Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder aren’t the same thing? Did you know that we don’t call it Multiple Personality Disorder anymore? In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank takes us down the road of some very misunderstood psychological disorders.

•••
Subbable Message
•••

To: Margarete
From: Toni

Your sister thinks you are the best! Here’s hoping Crash Course does an Art History season just for you. :)
•••

mindblowingscience:

Elusive particle that is its own antiparticle observed

Princeton University scientists have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat of math and engineering that could yield powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Using a two-story-tall microscope floating in an ultralow-vibration lab at Princeton’s Jadwin Hall, the scientists captured a glowing image of a particle known as a “Majorana fermion” perched at the end of an atomically thin wire — just where it had been predicted to be after decades of study and calculation dating back to the 1930s.
"This is the most direct way of looking for the Majorana fermion as it is expected to emerge at the edge of certain materials," said Ali Yazdani, a professor of physics who led the research team. "If you want to find this particle within a material you have to use such a microscope, which allows you to see where it actually is."
The hunt for the Majorana fermion began in the earliest days of quantum theory when physicists first realized that their equations implied the existence of “antimatter” counterparts to commonly known particles such as electrons. In 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana predicted that a single, stable particle could be both matter and antimatter. Although many forms of antimatter have since been observed, the Majorana combination remained elusive.
In addition to its implications for fundamental physics, the finding offers scientists a potentially major advance in the pursuit of quantum computing. In quantum computing, electrons are coaxed into representing not only the ones and zeroes of conventional computers but also a strange quantum state that is both a one and a zero. This anomalous property, called quantum superposition, offers vast opportunities for solving previously incalculable systems, but is notoriously prone to collapsing into conventional behavior due to interactions with nearby material.


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mindblowingscience:

Elusive particle that is its own antiparticle observed

Princeton University scientists have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat of math and engineering that could yield powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Using a two-story-tall microscope floating in an ultralow-vibration lab at Princeton’s Jadwin Hall, the scientists captured a glowing image of a particle known as a “Majorana fermion” perched at the end of an atomically thin wire — just where it had been predicted to be after decades of study and calculation dating back to the 1930s.

"This is the most direct way of looking for the Majorana fermion as it is expected to emerge at the edge of certain materials," said Ali Yazdani, a professor of physics who led the research team. "If you want to find this particle within a material you have to use such a microscope, which allows you to see where it actually is."

The hunt for the Majorana fermion began in the earliest days of quantum theory when physicists first realized that their equations implied the existence of “antimatter” counterparts to commonly known particles such as electrons. In 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana predicted that a single, stable particle could be both matter and antimatter. Although many forms of antimatter have since been observed, the Majorana combination remained elusive.

In addition to its implications for fundamental physics, the finding offers scientists a potentially major advance in the pursuit of quantum computing. In quantum computing, electrons are coaxed into representing not only the ones and zeroes of conventional computers but also a strange quantum state that is both a one and a zero. This anomalous property, called quantum superposition, offers vast opportunities for solving previously incalculable systems, but is notoriously prone to collapsing into conventional behavior due to interactions with nearby material.

Continue Reading.

Composite image shows two black holes orbiting each other
By: Brian Koberlein
The image above shows two supermassive black holes orbiting each other. It is a composite image where the blue/white indicates x-rays and the pink indicates radio wavelengths. It may look like they are orbiting closely, but the black holes are about 25,000 light years apart, which is about the same distance the Sun is from the center of the Milky Way.
What’s particularly striking about this image is just how clearly we can see the features of this binary system. The hot accretion regions surrounding the black holes clearly show their locations, and each black hole shows jets in radio. It’s not often that we can see a supermassive black hole with such detail.
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Composite image shows two black holes orbiting each other

By: Brian Koberlein

The image above shows two supermassive black holes orbiting each other. It is a composite image where the blue/white indicates x-rays and the pink indicates radio wavelengths. It may look like they are orbiting closely, but the black holes are about 25,000 light years apart, which is about the same distance the Sun is from the center of the Milky Way.

What’s particularly striking about this image is just how clearly we can see the features of this binary system. The hot accretion regions surrounding the  clearly show their locations, and each black hole shows jets in radio. It’s not often that we can see a supermassive black hole with such detail.

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astrogeogallery:

Geology of Mercury
Much of our understanding about Mercury has been limited due to the planet’s close orbital distance to the sun, where the environment may pose many threats, such as intense solar radiation and high temperatures, for Mercury-bound spacecrafts. Additionally, attempted observations from Earth are also challenged by Mercury’s proximity range, and we are left with poor viewing conditions due to atmospheric factors, regardless of a dark sky fit for telescopes, since Mercury is near the horizon at that time.
Mercury’s geological history is divided into the following eras, from oldest to youngest: Pre-Tolstojan, Tolstojan, Calorian, Mansurian, and Kuiperian. After the Late Heavy Bombardment came to an end 3.8 billion years ago, some regions were filled by magma eruptions, creating smooth plains. As the surface cooled and contracted, ridges and cracks began to form, and their presence over impact craters indicates that this must have occurred more recently. When Mercury’s mantle contracted enough to prevent lava from surfacing, the planet’s period of volcanism ended. 
Mercury’s core differs from any other planetary core in the Solar System. Because of the planet’s small size, it was once thought that its core must have solidified fully when the planet cooled. However, new data concerning its gravity field and internal magnetic field indicates an active core dynamo, suggesting that Mercury’s core may be partially liquid. We know that Earth has a solid inner core surrounded by a metallic liquid outer layer of the core. It appears that Mercury is just the opposite: A liquid inner core surrounded by a solid outer core, and its total core occupies about 85% of its planetary radius.
Image: (top) False-color image of Mercury, taken by MESSENGER in January 2008. Courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/ Carnegie Institution of Washington and Science/AAA.  
Sources for the written information above: Wikipedia.org / Sciencedaily.com
If you found it interesting to read about the geology of Mercury, stay tuned as the “WHAT IS ASTROGEOLOGY" page becomes populated with more information about the various celestial objects. 
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astrogeogallery:

Geology of Mercury

Much of our understanding about Mercury has been limited due to the planet’s close orbital distance to the sun, where the environment may pose many threats, such as intense solar radiation and high temperatures, for Mercury-bound spacecrafts. Additionally, attempted observations from Earth are also challenged by Mercury’s proximity range, and we are left with poor viewing conditions due to atmospheric factors, regardless of a dark sky fit for telescopes, since Mercury is near the horizon at that time.

Mercury’s geological history is divided into the following eras, from oldest to youngest: Pre-Tolstojan, Tolstojan, Calorian, Mansurian, and Kuiperian. After the Late Heavy Bombardment came to an end 3.8 billion years ago, some regions were filled by magma eruptions, creating smooth plains. As the surface cooled and contracted, ridges and cracks began to form, and their presence over impact craters indicates that this must have occurred more recently. When Mercury’s mantle contracted enough to prevent lava from surfacing, the planet’s period of volcanism ended. 

Mercury’s core differs from any other planetary core in the Solar System. Because of the planet’s small size, it was once thought that its core must have solidified fully when the planet cooled. However, new data concerning its gravity field and internal magnetic field indicates an active core dynamo, suggesting that Mercury’s core may be partially liquid. We know that Earth has a solid inner core surrounded by a metallic liquid outer layer of the core. It appears that Mercury is just the opposite: A liquid inner core surrounded by a solid outer core, and its total core occupies about 85% of its planetary radius.

Image: (top) False-color image of Mercury, taken by MESSENGER in January 2008. Courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/ Carnegie Institution of Washington and Science/AAA.  

Sources for the written information above: Wikipedia.org / Sciencedaily.com

If you found it interesting to read about the geology of Mercury, stay tuned as the “WHAT IS ASTROGEOLOGY" page becomes populated with more information about the various celestial objects. 

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4 Multiverses You Might Be Living In

Could parallel universes exist? If so, what would they look like and how would they form?

(Source: facebook.com)

mindblowingscience:

Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally

For those who find themselves sleeping through work – you may one day find yourself working through sleep.
People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.
The connections between sleep, memory and learning aren’t new – but the research is notable for its examination of automatic tasks. The study, published Thursday in Current Biology, first recorded the brain waves of people while they were asked to identify spoken words as either animals or objects while they were awake. After each word, the participant pushed a button with either their right hand for animals or their left hand for objects.
The brain map produced by the EEG showed where activity was taking place in the brain and what parts of the brain were being prepped for response. This preparation might include hearing the word elephant and then processing that an elephant is an animal. The participants did this until the task became automatic.
The researchers then lulled the participants to sleep, putting them in a dark room in a reclining chair. Researchers watched them fall into the state between light sleep and the deeper sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). They were then told a new list of words.
This time, their hands didn’t move, but their brains showed the same sorting activity as before. “In a way what’s going on is that the rule they learn and practice still is getting applied,” Tristan Bekinschtein, one of the authors of the study, told Shots. The human brain continued, when triggered, to respond even through sleep.
But the researchers weren’t fully satisfied, so they took it a step further. They did it all again, but instead of animals and objects, used real words and fake words. They also waited until the participants were more fully asleep.
Again, they found that the sleeping participants showed brain activity that indicated they were processing and preparing to move their hands to correctly indicate either real words or fake words were being spoken.
"It’s pretty exciting that it’s happening during sleep when we have no idea," Ken Paller, a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University who is unaffiliated with the study, told Shots. “We knew that words could be processed during sleep.” But, Paller adds, “we didn’t know how much and so this takes it to say, the level of preparing an action.”
While this sounds like great news for those who could use a few extra hours in the day for memorizing irregular verbs or cramming for the bar exam, the researchers caution that the neural activity they found may apply only to automated tasks. They hope that future studies may look into whether any similar cognitive task begun in an awake state might continue through early sleep — like crunching calculations.
"It’s a terrible thought, in the modern world," says Bekinschtein, referring to the pride people take in forgoing sleep for work. "I think in a way, these experiments are going to empower people … that we can do things in sleep that are useful."
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mindblowingscience:

Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally

For those who find themselves sleeping through work – you may one day find yourself working through sleep.

People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.

The connections between sleep, memory and learning aren’t new – but the research is notable for its examination of automatic tasks. The study, published Thursday in Current Biology, first recorded the brain waves of people while they were asked to identify spoken words as either animals or objects while they were awake. After each word, the participant pushed a button with either their right hand for animals or their left hand for objects.

The brain map produced by the EEG showed where activity was taking place in the brain and what parts of the brain were being prepped for response. This preparation might include hearing the word elephant and then processing that an elephant is an animal. The participants did this until the task became automatic.

The researchers then lulled the participants to sleep, putting them in a dark room in a reclining chair. Researchers watched them fall into the state between light sleep and the deeper sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM). They were then told a new list of words.

This time, their hands didn’t move, but their brains showed the same sorting activity as before. “In a way what’s going on is that the rule they learn and practice still is getting applied,” Tristan Bekinschtein, one of the authors of the study, told Shots. The human brain continued, when triggered, to respond even through sleep.

But the researchers weren’t fully satisfied, so they took it a step further. They did it all again, but instead of animals and objects, used real words and fake words. They also waited until the participants were more fully asleep.

Again, they found that the sleeping participants showed brain activity that indicated they were processing and preparing to move their hands to correctly indicate either real words or fake words were being spoken.

"It’s pretty exciting that it’s happening during sleep when we have no idea," Ken Paller, a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University who is unaffiliated with the study, told Shots. “We knew that words could be processed during sleep.” But, Paller adds, “we didn’t know how much and so this takes it to say, the level of preparing an action.”

While this sounds like great news for those who could use a few extra hours in the day for memorizing irregular verbs or cramming for the bar exam, the researchers caution that the neural activity they found may apply only to automated tasks. They hope that future studies may look into whether any similar cognitive task begun in an awake state might continue through early sleep — like crunching calculations.

"It’s a terrible thought, in the modern world," says Bekinschtein, referring to the pride people take in forgoing sleep for work. "I think in a way, these experiments are going to empower people … that we can do things in sleep that are useful."

psicologicamenteblog:

I think that this topic is truly important. What do you think about it?

Source: Are stereotypes keeping women away from science?

Follow Francesca Mura on Pinterest

Do We Live in a Multiverse?
By: Charles Choi
Our universe may not be alone. It could just be one of multiple realms making up a “multiverse.”
In fact, there are a half-dozen or so lines of reasoning that lead to this conclusion, with some pointing to the even wilder possibility that we live in a kind of multiverse-within-a-multiverse-within-a-multiverse.
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Do We Live in a Multiverse?

By: Charles Choi

Our universe may not be alone. It could just be one of multiple realms making up a “multiverse.”

In fact, there are a half-dozen or so lines of reasoning that lead to this conclusion, with some pointing to the even wilder possibility that we live in a kind of multiverse-within-a-multiverse-within-a-multiverse.

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sciencesoup:

What’s up with all those giant volcanoes on Mars?
Mount Everest is an enormous and awe-inspiring sight, towering 9 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. But if you were to stick it on Mars right next to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, it would look foolishly small—Olympus Mons triples the height of Everest and spans the state of Arizona.
Mars is sprinkled with huge volcanoes, hundreds of kilometres in diameter and dozens of kilometres tall. The largest volcano on Earth, on the other hand, is Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which rises only 4 km above sea level.
So why is Mars blessed with these monsters of the solar system? Why doesn’t Earth have any massive lava-spewing structures?
Geology, my friends.
Earth’s crust is split up into plates that move and collide. Usually, volcanoes are formed at the boundaries where two plates meet, and one subducts below the other and melts in the heat below the surface. This melt rises as magma and causes volcanism.
But in some places on Earth, there are “hot spots” in the middle of plates, where magma rises up from the core-mantle mantle in plumes. When this magma is spewed up onto the surface, it cools and solidifies into rock, and over the years, the rock builds up and up. When plumes open out in the middle of the ocean, the magma builds islands.

Plumes are fixed, always pushing magma up to one spot, but the Earth’s plates don’t stop for anything. While the magma rises, the plates move over the hotspot—at a rate of only a few centimetres a year, but still, they move and take the newly-made volcanoes with them. So, gradually, the plates and volcanoes move on, while the plume remains in the same spot, building a whole new volcano on the next bit of the plate. As the plate moves on and on, the plume builds up a whole chain of islands, called island arcs. This is how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.

The island-volcanoes never get too big, because the plates keep moving onwards. On Mars, however, the volcanoes are enormous because the magma appears to keep rising, cooling and solidifying in the same place, taking its sweet time to build up colossal mounds of volcanic rock kilometres high.
So far, we’ve seen no volcanic arcs like we do on Earth, and this is generally taken as evidence that Mars has no tectonic plates.
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sciencesoup:

What’s up with all those giant volcanoes on Mars?

Mount Everest is an enormous and awe-inspiring sight, towering 9 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. But if you were to stick it on Mars right next to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, it would look foolishly small—Olympus Mons triples the height of Everest and spans the state of Arizona.

Mars is sprinkled with huge volcanoes, hundreds of kilometres in diameter and dozens of kilometres tall. The largest volcano on Earth, on the other hand, is Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which rises only 4 km above sea level.

So why is Mars blessed with these monsters of the solar system? Why doesn’t Earth have any massive lava-spewing structures?

Geology, my friends.

Earth’s crust is split up into plates that move and collide. Usually, volcanoes are formed at the boundaries where two plates meet, and one subducts below the other and melts in the heat below the surface. This melt rises as magma and causes volcanism.

But in some places on Earth, there are “hot spots” in the middle of plates, where magma rises up from the core-mantle mantle in plumes. When this magma is spewed up onto the surface, it cools and solidifies into rock, and over the years, the rock builds up and up. When plumes open out in the middle of the ocean, the magma builds islands.

image

Plumes are fixed, always pushing magma up to one spot, but the Earth’s plates don’t stop for anything. While the magma rises, the plates move over the hotspot—at a rate of only a few centimetres a year, but still, they move and take the newly-made volcanoes with them. So, gradually, the plates and volcanoes move on, while the plume remains in the same spot, building a whole new volcano on the next bit of the plate. As the plate moves on and on, the plume builds up a whole chain of islands, called island arcs. This is how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.

image

The island-volcanoes never get too big, because the plates keep moving onwards. On Mars, however, the volcanoes are enormous because the magma appears to keep rising, cooling and solidifying in the same place, taking its sweet time to build up colossal mounds of volcanic rock kilometres high.

So far, we’ve seen no volcanic arcs like we do on Earth, and this is generally taken as evidence that Mars has no tectonic plates.

NASA Exoplanet Mission to Hunt Down Earth-sized Worlds
By: Nola Taylor Redd
Set to launch in 2017, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will monitor more than half a million stars over its two-year mission, with a focus on the smallest, brightest stellar objects.
During its observations, TESS is expected to find more than 3,000 new planets outside of our solar system, most of which will be possible for ground-based telescopes to observe.
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NASA Exoplanet Mission to Hunt Down Earth-sized Worlds

By: Nola Taylor Redd

Set to launch in 2017, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will monitor more than half a million stars over its two-year mission, with a focus on the smallest, brightest stellar objects.

During its observations, TESS is expected to find more than 3,000 new planets outside of our solar system, most of which will be possible for ground-based telescopes to observe.

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Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in Action?
By: Shannon Hall
Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps — likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities along their orbital paths — that make the disks look more like ripples in a pond than flat pancakes.
But astronomers know only a few examples, including the archetypal disk surrounding Beta Pictoris, of this transitional stage between the original disk and the young planetary system. And they have never spotted a forming planet.
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Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in Action?

By: Shannon Hall

Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps — likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities along their orbital paths — that make the disks look more like ripples in a pond than flat pancakes.

But astronomers know only a few examples, including the archetypal disk surrounding Beta Pictoris, of this transitional stage between the original disk and the young planetary system. And they have never spotted a forming planet.

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Scientists got it wrong on gravitational waves. So what?
By: Phillip Ball
The team involved has been criticised for publishing results before they were peer reviewed. But this is what science is: debate, discussion, deliberation
It was announced in headlines worldwide as one of the biggest scientific discoveries for decades, sure to garner Nobel prizes. But now it looks likely that the alleged evidence of both gravitational waves and ultra-fast expansion of the universe in the big bang (called inflation) has literally turned to dust.
Last March, a team using a telescope called Bicep2 at the South Pole claimed to have read the signatures of these two elusive phenomena in the twisting patterns of the cosmic microwave background radiation: the afterglow of the big bang. But this week, results from an international consortium using a space telescope called Planck show that Bicep2’s data is likely to have come not from the microwave background but from dust scattered through our own galaxy.
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Scientists got it wrong on gravitational waves. So what?

By: Phillip Ball

The team involved has been criticised for publishing results before they were peer reviewed. But this is what science is: debate, discussion, deliberation

It was announced in headlines worldwide as one of the biggest scientific discoveries for decades, sure to garner Nobel prizes. But now it looks likely that the alleged evidence of both gravitational waves and ultra-fast expansion of the universe in the big bang (called inflation) has literally turned to dust.

Last March, a team using a telescope called Bicep2 at the South Pole claimed to have read the signatures of these two elusive phenomena in the twisting patterns of the cosmic microwave background radiation: the afterglow of the big bang. But this week, results from an international consortium using a space telescope called Planck show that Bicep2’s data is likely to have come not from the microwave background but from dust scattered through our own galaxy.

Continue Reading