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The light bending effects of gravity around black holes.


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black holes.
The light bending effects of gravity around black holes.

Probing the large scale structure of the universe.

Thanks to data collected by NASA's WMAP probe in 2001 and 2002, plus the hard work of astrophysicists, we now know that the universe is 13.7 billion years of age - give or take a few hundred million years. And thanks to the way distant Galaxy clusters interacted with the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) some 7 billion years ago, we may soon be able to peel away layers of time and better understand irregularities in the Shape of the universe as it is today.

Astrophoto of the moon and Jupiter by Bojan Stajcar.

Amateur photographer Bojan Stajcar took this picture of the lunar occulation of Jupiter on the 27th of February. This picture was taken 10 minutes after the Moon partially occulted Jupiter, at 11:04 pm local time, from Melbourne, Australia. The camera used was a mechanically modified Connectix Quickcam, with 320x240 pixel CCD sensor in the focus of the motorized ("Bartelized") homemade 10", f5.6 reflector.

Black holes might obscure early times.

Astrophysicists from Penn State University are concerned that the light bending effects of gravity around black holes might be so severe that early times in the universe might be impossible to study. Gravitational lenses, where the gravity of one Galaxy serves to focus the light from a more distant galaxy, have been used to study deeper into space than would normally be possible. But in the close vicinity of black holes, light is bent in unpredictable ways, completely obscuring the direction of the source.

New theory on meteor crater in northern Arizona.

Scientists are in agreement that a rock from space smashed into the ground in Arizona 50,000 years ago, carving out a pit 1,250 metres (4,100 feet) across. But they're now starting to disagree on the speed the asteroid was going when it hit. One mystery that has been puzzling scientists: where is all the impact-melted rock? If it was going as much as 20 km/s (44,000 mph) as originally believed, it should have fractured into pieces which would have rained down over a larger area. But a new simulation calculates that it was going only half that speed, and probably came down as a swarm of material, not a single rock.

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