“Listening” for Gravitational Waves to Track Down Black Holes

Gravitational waves are predicted by Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity, but they are notoriously hard to detect and it’s taken many decades to come close to observing them. Now, with the help of a supercomputer named SUGAR (Syracuse University Gravitational and Relativity Cluster), two years of data collected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory …

Forget Black Holes, How Do You Find A Wormhole?

Finding a black hole is an easy task… compared with searching for a wormhole. Suspected black holes have a massive gravitational effect on planets, stars and even galaxies, generating radiation, producing jets and accretion disks. Black holes will even bend light through gravitational lensing. Now, try finding a wormhole… Any ideas? Well, a Russian researcher …

Astrophoto: M83 by R. Jay GaBany

Our understanding of the Universe is written in pencil on the pages of a loose-leaf notebook because, like many of the sciences, our knowledge of nature is constantly undergoing revision. For example, during the past few years a quiet revolution has been taking place regarding galaxies, black holes and their increasingly understood symbiotic relationship. Black …

Fine Tuning the Search for Black Holes

Although black holes can’t be seen directly, they’re relatively easy to find. Matter spiraling into a black hole becomes superheated, shines brightly, and is visible across the Universe. A new supercomputer simulation has fine tuned the energy calculations for atoms in the vicinity of a black hole. This is very important, because astronomers working on …

Finding a Fourth Dimension

Braneworld challenges Einstein’s general relativity. Image credit: NASA. Click to enlarge Scientists have been intrigued for years about the possibility that there are additional dimensions beyond the three we humans can understand. Now researchers from Duke and Rutgers universities think there’s a way to test for five-dimensional theory (4 spatial dimensions plus time) of gravity …

What’s Up This Week – May 29 – June 4, 2006

M83: “The Southern Pinwheel”. Image credit: Bill Schoening/NOAO/AURA/NSF. Click to enlarge. Greetings, fellow SkyWatchers! Let’s hope clear skies have returned to your area as we begin the week with a look at the incredible M83. As the Moon returns, we’ll study the features and be in for some excitement as it occults asteroid Vesta. Stay …