Astronomy

Big Bang nucleosynthesis not the origin of lithium-6

HZDR’s Michael Anders at the LUNA accelerator in Gran Sasso, Italy. (Courtesy: HZDR/M Anders).   The only three elements created in the early universe, long before stars and galaxies began to form, were hydrogen, helium and lithium. According to Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) theory, protons and neutrons combined to form these three elements just a …

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BICEP2 and the detection of Gravitational Waves

The most significant news of late is the BICEP2 results – if you are unfamiliar with the result, let me first summarize the results and then offer feedback and alternative viewpoints. BICEP2 was the second generation BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) instrument for astronomy located at Earth’s south pole. Possessing a greatly improved …

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Comet PANSTARRS

* Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) in Cetus * Photo By Humayun Qureshi. Taken from Canberra. Astronomers discovered Comet PANSTARRS (C/2011 L4) on June 7, 2011. In early February, the comet reached its southernmost point, but by the end of May it will lie near Polaris (Alpha [α] Ursae Minoris). Comet watchers should target February 21 …

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Hubble Finds the Oldest Star (as of March 2013)

This is a Digitized Sky Survey image of the oldest star with a well-determined age in our galaxy. The aging star, cataloged as HD 140283, lies 190.1 light-years away. The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) UK Schmidt telescope photographed the star in blue light. Credit: Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO A team of astronomers using NASA’s …

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Cairns total eclipse 2012

A small group of us went to Cairns for the total eclipse. I wanted to see and photograph the event – the experience was quite something special but alas it was plagued with bad weather. I managed to photograph before totality and after, but during totality the cloud completely covered the wondrous sight. None the …

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