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Article of the Month: January 2016
The Loneliest Galaxy In The Universe
Our greatest, largest-scale surveys of the universe have given us an unprecedented view of cosmic structure extending for tens of billions of light years. With the combined effects of normal matter, dark matter, dark energy, neutrinos and radiation all affecting how matter clumps, collapses and separates over time, the great cosmic web we see is in tremendous agreement with our best theories: the Big Bang and General Relativity. Yet this understanding was only possible because of the pioneering work of Edwin Hubble, who identified a large number of galaxies outside of our own, correctly measured their distance (following the work of Vesto Slipher's work measuring their redshifts), and discovered the expanding universe.
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Previous month's article:
How will we finally image the event horizon of a black hole?
One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein first put forth his theory of General Relativity, which laid out the relationship between spacetime and the matter and energy present within it. While it successfully recovered Newtonian gravity and predicted the additional precession of Mercury's orbit, the only exact solution that Einstein himself discovered was the trivial one: that for completely empty space. Less than two months after releasing his theory, however, the German scientist Karl Schwarzschild provided a true exact solution, that of a massive, infinitely dense object, a black hole.
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Play and learn
Simple and fun learning activities to share with children.
The Space Place Experiment Center—Students can conduct real life science experiments and learn how the world works.
Make a Pinwheel Galaxy pinwheel—Make a pinwheel that looks just like M101, the pinwheel galaxy.
Make a Fan with Earth’s Layers—To remember that Earth is much more than just the surface we see every day, make this Earth layer fan.