After the cosmic microwave background radiation was released, the Universe returned to darkness, cloaked in this clouds of primordial hydrogen and helium. Gravity pulled these vast clouds into the first stars, and then the first galaxies. This is Cosmic Dawn, and JWST will help us probe this mysterious time in the Universe.
May 22nd: Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies & Dark Matter
Astronomers first noticed the strange behaviors of rotating galaxies almost 100 years ago, suggesting there’s an invisible dark matter hold them together with gravity. Now astronomers have found examples of galaxies that are almost entirely made of dark matter. Does this tell us anything?
May 15th: Kilonovae
In 2017, astronomers detected the gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation from colliding neutron stars. This had been long theorized as one of the causes of a certain type of gamma-ray burst. By studying the event and its afterglow, astronomers have learned a tremendous amount about the formation of the heaviest elements in the Universe.
May 8th: Rogue Black Holes
This week we’re going to take things up a notch and talk about an even more extreme event. Rogue black holes. Astronomers recently discovered a supermassive black hole on an escape trajectory, leaving newly forming stars in its wake. It’s wonderful, terrible, nightmare fuel.
May 1st: High(per) Velocity Stars
Most stars in the Milky Way are trapped in here with us, doomed to orbit around and around and around. But a few have found a way out, an escape into the freedom of intergalactic space. How do stars reach escape velocity, never to return?
Apr 24th: World Building: Planet Formation, Growth & Ejection
Today we’re going to give you a guided tour of building planets. How they form, how they grow, and how things can go horribly horribly wrong.
Apr 17th: The Answer is Always Dust
Whenever astronomers discover something surprising, the answer often turns out to be dust. Dust obscuring our view, dust changing the polarity, dust warming things up, dust cooling things down. It’s always dust. Until it isn’t.
Apr 10th: Other Things With Rings
We’ve spent a lot of time gushing about Saturn’s rings, but there are other places with ring systems. And not just Jupiter and the ice giants, but asteroids, dwarf planets, centaurs and even exoplanets. Today let’s gush about them!
Apr 3rd: Exotic Forms of Ice
Ice is ice, right? You know, what you get when water freezes. Well, maybe here on Earth. But it can have different structures in the Universe. More about different forms of ice on today’s @AstronomyCast at #365DaysOfAstro
Mar 27th: Asteroid Early Warning Systems
The DART mission showed us that we can push an asteroid off its trajectory if we have enough warning. Today we’ll talk about how humanity is building early warning systems to give us time to respond to a dangerous asteroid.