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First Evidence Of Early Universe’s Massive Expansion Observed

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by Michael Keller

Directly observed evidence indicates that the early universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times in a fraction of a second, scientists announced today.

Researchers say they have been able to discern gravitational waves—ripples in space-time first theorized by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity—that provide the first direct telltale sign of the exponential inflation of the universe right after it was born.

“This is the first direct image of gravitational waves across the primordial sky,” said study co-leader Chao-Lin Kuo, a Stanford University physicist who studies the beginning of the universe.

Such theories about rapid inflation have argued that expansion after the Big Bang shot the outer limits of the early universe from a miniscule point outward to a distance beyond the sensing abilities of our best telescopes in less than the blink of an eye. 

But the gravitational waves that would support the idea of inflation had never before been observed.

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What’s that? Oh not much, just a quasar 6 billion light years away being powered by a supermassive black hole spinning around at half the speed of light. 
See it bigger here. Mind blown. Thanks, NASA and ESA.[[MORE]]

What’s that? Oh not much, just a quasar 6 billion light years away being powered by a supermassive black hole spinning around at half the speed of light. 

See it bigger here. Mind blown. Thanks, NASA and ESA.

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Revolutionary Telescope Gets Green Light

An 82-foot telescope boasting ten times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope has successfully passed design reviews and is ready to be constructed.

The Giant Magellan Telescope will use a light-collecting mirror surface more than six times the area of current instruments to hunt for distant, potentially habitable planets and let astronomers time travel back to a billion years after the Big Bang.

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On this day in 1564, the physicist, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher Galileo Galilei was born. In honor of his birthday, we’re re-blogging this comic we created imagining the great forefather of modern science in the present day.
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Arguably the most well known and influential astronomer, Galileo made many improvements to the telescope, and is credited with such cosmic discoveries as the phases of Jupiter, the four satellites of Jupiter, and the first observations of sunspots.
He is also known as the first person to provide observational evidence that validates Copernicus’ theory of heliocentrism. Facing the ire of the church for this finding, Galileo was sentenced to live out the remainder of his life under house arrest.
Below is a picture of a replica of the earliest surviving telescope of Galileo. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

In the comic, Galileo is looking at the Kepler telescope, which is named for Johannes Kepler, a contemporary of Galileo’s who is credited with discovering the laws of planetary motion.
If you want to learn more about Galileo and his relationship to Johannes Kepler, check out the prologue of “Send a Message,” an episode of the radio show This American Life, which details Galileo’s method of conveying messages to Kepler. When Galileo would make a new discovery, he would send the news in an anagram, a bunch of letters that, once unscrambled, make up a message. Kepler was surprisingly bad at decoding the messages, but their miscommunication led to some uncanny coincidences.
Comic illustrated by web cartoonist Maki Naro of PopSci’s Boxplot.

On this day in 1564, the physicist, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher Galileo Galilei was born. In honor of his birthday, we’re re-blogging this comic we created imagining the great forefather of modern science in the present day.

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(Source: txchnologist)

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