What happens when stars or black holes collide? Scientists have theorized that the energy released would disturb the very fabric of the space-time continuum, much like ripples in a pond. These ripples are called gravitational waves, and while proving the existence of these waves has been difficult, their detection would open a brand new window on our understanding of the Universe.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) have been searching for these elusive waves. A new documentary about LIGO will premiere here on Universe Today tomorrow (April 15, 2014) documenting the science and people behind the unprecedented astronomical tool designed to catch sight of violent cosmic events trillions of miles from our planet.
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How Do We Know the Moon Landing Isn’t Fake?

by Fraser Cain on April 14, 2014

There’s a conspiracy theory that astronauts never landed on the Moon. Is it all a conspiracy? Were the Moon landings faked? What is the evidence that we actually went to the Moon?
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Comet ISON Photo Contest Winners Rock the House!

by Bob King on April 14, 2014

"Comet ISON" -- People's Choice award winner: Eric Cardoso, Setúbal, Portugal,  Credit: Eric Cardoso

“Comet ISON” — People’s Choice award winner: Eric Cardoso, Setúbal, Portugal. Credit: Eric Cardoso

Comet ISON’s gone but positively not forgotten. The National Science Foundation today shared the results of their Comet ISON Photography Contest. You’ll recognize many of the names because so many of their photos have graced stories written for Universe Today.  [click to continue…]

Webcasts and Forecasts for Tonight’s Total Lunar Eclipse

by David Dickinson on April 14, 2014

The December 21st 2010 Solstice eclipse. Photos by author.

The December 21st 2010 Solstice eclipse. Photos by author.

Are you ready for some eclipse action? We’re now within 24 hours of the Moon reaching its ascending node along the ecliptic at 13:25 Universal Time (UT)/ 9:25 AM EDT on Tuesday morning and meeting the shadow of the Earth just over seven hours earlier. [click to continue…]

Artist's conception of a gamma-ray pulsar. Gamma rays are shown in purple, and radio radiation in green. Credit: NASA/Fermi/Cruz de Wilde

Artist’s conception of a gamma-ray pulsar. Gamma rays are shown in purple, and radio radiation in green. Credit: NASA/Fermi/Cruz de Wilde

Pulsars — those supernova leftovers that are incredibly dense and spin very fast — may change their speed due to activity of billions of vortices in the fluid beneath their surface, a new study says.

The work is based on a combination of research and modelling and looks at the Crab Nebula pulsar, which has periodic slowdowns in its rotation of at least 0.055 nanoseconds. Occasionally, the Crab and other pulsars see their spins speed up in an event called a “glitch”. Luckily for astronomers, there is a wealth of data on Crab because the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the United Kingdom looked at it almost daily for the last 29 years.

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