Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sutherland by Night - Milky Way, Melkweg

Sutherland by Night - Milky Way, Melkweg
In this beautiful image by SAAO Astronomer Stephen Potter we see the Milky Way setting behind the 20, 30, 40 inch, MONET and SALT telescopes. Jupiter is the bright star at the top and Venus is setting into the MONET dome. The bright glow on the horizon is from distant city lights.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Key Signature of the Big Bang's Origin Discovered

  South pole telescope detects echoes of Big Bang

UPDATE MARCH 17: All the rumors were true. The story below was written yesterday, before today's announcement that "primordial B-waves" have been found in the cosmic background radiation. These must have arisen from inflation-driven gravitational waves rippling through spacetime in the first 10–34 second of the Big Bang. 
MARCH 16: Rumors have been racing through the physics and cosmology communities for the last few days that long-sought, Nobel Prize-worthy evidence for cosmic inflation driving the Big Bang will be announced on Monday, March 17th. A press conference for a "major discovery" regarding this topic is scheduled for noon EDT (16:00 UT) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, just up the street from Sky & Telescope. We'll be there.

Word of what may be announced first broke into wide circulation late Friday night, when The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. published an article online, Gravitational waves: have US scientists heard echoes of the big bang? Here are excerpts: