China Celebrates Non-Discovery of Dark Matter
October 6, 2014
A huge dark matter detector in China celebrated the publication of its first results: nothing.
Of Stars and Significance
September 30, 2014
The farther out we look, the more questions we have. But does secular astronomy ask the right questions?
Cosmology Goes Off the Reservation
May 17, 2014
If science were ever restricted to observation, experimental demonstration, and evidence, some cosmologists left that reservation far behind long ago. Being smart does not preclude going nutty.
Cosmologists Were Wrong About Galaxy Evolution
March 11, 2014
Fifteen years ago, no cosmologist would have predicted mature galaxies early on, but they keep getting found – earlier and earlier.
If the Big Bang Is the Answer, Why Are There So Many Questions?
February 25, 2014
Any scientific explanation that leads to more questions than answers should be considered suspect.
Dark Matter Search Tinkers with Mythology
January 6, 2014
They can't find it, but it must be there. How long can that approach be sustained?
No Dark Matter Down Here
October 30, 2013
A mile deep in the earth, the most sensitive search to date for dark matter has turned up nothing.
Major Cosmic Questions Remain Unanswered
April 28, 2013
Some basic ideas about physics and astronomy remain so mysterious, and their explanations so flexible, they may lead some to question whether they should be called "hard sciences."
Astronomy Grab Bag
December 29, 2012
For year's end, here's a clean-out of astronomy articles—from planetary science to cosmology—to motivate further inquiry.
Shining Light on Dark Energy
October 21, 2012
Fifteen years after cosmologists proposed the existence of dark energy, they have learned nothing about it. In “Cosmology: Out of the Darkness,” Matthew Chalmers discussed the current thinking of Brian Schmidt, who shared the Nobel prize in 2011 for discovering cosmic acceleration (actually, an inference based on light from supernovae; see 9/30/2012). “Fifteen years after […]
Astronomers Wrestle with "Endless Mysteries"
June 3, 2012
Some of the biggest questions in the universe remain completely baffling to astronomers, a leading journal admitted.
Dark Matter as an Escape
May 14, 2012
Employing exotic unobservable entities such as dark matter may be an escape from scientific rigor in more ways than one.
Trouble in Cosmologyland
September 18, 2011
Underneath the veneer of certainty portrayed by TV documentaries about the universe are deep questions and controversies. Some of these briefly appear on publicly-available news stories, only to be covered by new coats of certainty. Are the new veneers fixing the problems or, instead, whitewashing serious weaknesses in current cosmological understanding? Here are some quick looks under the veneer.
Water, Water Everywhere in Space
July 23, 2011
The largest mass of water has been found surrounding a black hole in a quasar 12 billion light-years away. Space.com says the cloud harbors “140 trillion times more water than all of Earth’s oceans combined.” The discovery not only that “water has been prevalent in the universe for nearly its entire existence,” but that it “was present only some 1.6 billion years after the beginning of the universe.” Alberto Bolatto, of the University of Maryland, said, "This discovery pushes the detection of water one billion years closer to the Big Bang than any previous find.”
In other cosmology news:
Is Star Formation Understood?
February 22, 2011
Astronomers often speak with apparent confidence about regions of active star formation in nebulae or galaxies. A look at the fine print, however, shows plenty of wiggle room when observations don’t quite match theory.