Cosmology (from Greek κόσμος, kosmos "world" and -λογία, -logia "study of") is a branch of astronomy concerned with the study of the chronology of the universe. Physical cosmology is the study of the universe's origin, its large-scale structures and dynamics, and the ultimate fate of the universe, including the laws of science that govern these areas.The term cosmology was first used in English in 1656 in Thomas Blount's Glossographia, and in 1731 taken up in Latin by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis.Religious or mythological cosmology is a body of beliefs based on mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation myths and eschatology.Physical cosmology is studied by scientists, such as astronomers and physicists, as well as philosophers, such as metaphysicians, philosophers of physics, and philosophers of space and time. Because of this shared scope with philosophy, theories in physical cosmology may include both scientific and non-scientific propositions, and may depend upon assumptions that cannot be tested. Cosmology differs from astronomy in that the former is concerned with the Universe as a whole while the latter deals with individual celestial objects. Modern physical cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which attempts to bring together observational astronomy and particle physics; more specifically, a standard parameterization of the Big Bang with dark matter and dark energy, known as the Lambda-CDM model.Theoretical astrophysicist David N. Spergel has described cosmology as a "historical science" because "when we look out in space, we look back in time" due to the finite nature of the speed of light.
Source: Cosmology (wikipedia.org)
Let's start by saying the Universe is big. When we look in any direction, the furthest visible regions of the Universe are estimated to be around 46 billion light years away. That's a diameter of 540 sextillion (or 54 followed by 22 zeros) miles.
Halfway between the belly of Delphinus the Dolphin and the hind hoof of Pegasus the flying horse, a pristine pinwheel tumbles through space.
Scientists have detected two collisions between a neutron star and a black hole in the space of 10 days. Researchers predicted that such collisions would occur, but did not know how often.
Astronomers have worked out when the first stars began shining. They say that this period, known as the "cosmic dawn," occurred between 250 to 350 million years after the Big Bang.
An international team of researchers has created the largest and most detailed map of the distribution of so-called dark matter in the Universe. The results are a surprise because they show that it is slightly smoother and more spread out than the current best theories predict.
2nd March 2021If there is a God, would they be bound by the laws of physics? I still believed in God (I am now an atheist) when I heard the following question at a seminar, first posed by Einstein, and was stunned by its elegance and depth: "If there is a God who created the entire universe and ALL
Behold the hot, energetic Universe. The image records a lot of the violent action in the cosmos - instances where matter is being accelerated, heated and shredded.
The veteran gravitational wave hunter from Glasgow University has come to the National Press Club in Washington DC to witness the announcement of the first direct detection of ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by the merger of two "intermediate-sized" black holes.
Imagine the energy of eight Suns released in an instant. This is the gravitational "shockwave" that spread out from the biggest merger yet observed between two black holes.
Astronomers say big cool patches on a "supergiant" star close to Earth were behind its surprise dimming last year. Red giant stars like Betelgeuse frequently undergo changes in brightness, but the drop to 40% of its normal value between October 2019 and April 2020 surprised astronomers.
Terms like "heat death", "big rip" and "vacuum decay" don't sound all that inviting. And they aren't. They describe a few of the theories scientists have about how our universe will one day die.
Another telescope has entered the debate about the age and expansion rate of the Universe. This topic has recently become the subject of an energetic to and fro among scientists using different astronomical facilities and techniques.
Astronomers have been baffled by the disappearance of a massive star they had been observing. They now wonder whether the distant object collapsed to form a black hole without exploding in a supernova.
An experiment searching for signs of elusive dark matter has detected an unexplained signal. Scientists working on the Xenon1T experiment have detected more activity within their detector than they would otherwise expect.
The Boltzmann brain argument suggests that it is more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form in a void (complete with a false memory of having existed in our universe) than it is for the universe to have come about in the way modern science thinks it actually did.
Scientists have detected a cosmic "pileup" of galaxies in the early Universe. Imaged almost at the boundary of the observable Universe, the 14 unusually bright objects are on a collision course, set to form one massive galaxy.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is "warped and twisted" and not flat as previously thought, new research shows. Analysis of the brightest stars in the galaxy shows that they do not lie on a flat plane as shown in academic texts and popular science books.
Astronomers have a new candidate in their search for the nearest black hole to Earth. It's about 1,000 light-years away, or roughly 9.5 thousand, million, million km, in the Constellation Telescopium.
The idea that other universes - as well as our own - lie within "bubbles" of space and time has received a boost. Studies of the low-temperature glow left from the Big Bang suggest that several of these "bubble universes" may have left marks on our own.
It might not look like much, but this image represents one of the most distant objects astronomers have ever seen, 12.9 billion light years away. It is a "Lyman-alpha blob" and is 55,000 light years across - as large as present-day galaxies.
One of the 21st Century's grand scientific undertakings has begun its quest to view the "Cosmic Dawn". The Atacama large milllimetre/submillimetre array (Alma) in Chile is the largest, most complex telescope ever built.
A cataclysmic explosion of a huge star near the edge of the observable Universe may be the most distant single object yet spied by a telescope.Scientists believe the blast, which was detected by Nasa's Swift space observatory, occurred a mere 520 million years after the Big Bang.
Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted. Renowned cosmologist Roger Penrose said that analysis of this cosmic microwave background showed echoes of previous Big Bang-like events.
It couldn't have been planned better.
Researchers have developed a simple technique that adds evidence to the theory that the Universe is flat. Moreover, the method - developed by revisiting a 30-year-old idea - confirms that "dark energy" makes up nearly three-quarters of the Universe.
Scientists are looking to relocate an underground experiment searching for dark matter to an even deeper site. Cosmic rays striking the Earth could completely mask the rare dark matter events sought by the experiment.
Unexplained "filaments" of radio-wave emission close to our galaxy's centre may hold proof of the existence of dark matter, researchers have said. Dark matter is believed to make up most of the mass of our Universe, but it has yet to be definitively spotted.
Instead of invoking dark matter, the Modified Newtonian Dynamics theory says that the effects of gravity change in places where its pull is very low. The new paper suggests that Mond better predicts the relationship between gassy galaxies' rotation speeds and masses.
Researchers have come up with a way to glimpse the infant Universe by decoding the earliest ripples in its light. They say this can be achieved by capturing the specific radio wavelength of 21cm from the heavens.
Scientists' predictions about the mysterious dark matter purported to make up most of the mass of the Universe may have to be revised. Research on dwarf galaxies suggests they cannot form in the way they do if dark matter exists in the form that the most common model requires it to.
The Fermi space telescope has yielded the most detailed gamma ray map of the sky - representing the Universe's most violent and extreme processes. The telescope's newest results, as well as the map, were described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome this week.
A team of physicists has claimed that our view of the early Universe may contain the signature of a time before the Big Bang. The discovery comes from studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB), light emitted when the Universe was just 400,000 years old.
Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are getting set to create the Big Bang on a miniature scale. Since 2009, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator has been smashing together protons, in a bid to shed light on the fundamental nature of matter.
A meteorite found in Antarctica could lend weight to the argument that life on Earth might have been kick-started from space, scientists are claiming.Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia.
A pioneering technique using subatomic particles known as neutrons could give microscopic hints of extra dimensions or even dark matter, researchers say.The idea rests on probing any minuscule variations in gravity as it acts on slow-moving neutrons in a tiny cavity.
A US-based physics experiment has found a clue as to why the world around us is composed of normal matter and not its shadowy opposite: anti-matter.Anti-matter is rare today; it can be produced in "atom smashers", in nuclear reactions or by cosmic rays.
Physicists have taken a step forward in their efforts to understand why the Universe is dominated by matter, and not its shadowy opposite antimatter. The results show that certain matter particles decay differently from their antimatter counterparts.
Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize.
This is the extraordinary place where we all live - the Universe. The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the "oldest light" in the cosmos.
The European telescope sent far from Earth to study the oldest light in the Universe has returned its first images. The Planck observatory, launched in May, is surveying radiation that first swept out across space just 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Scientists have detected the largest molecules ever seen in space, in a cloud of cosmic dust surrounding a distant star. The football-shaped carbon molecules are known as buckyballs, and were only discovered on Earth 25 years ago when they were made in a laboratory.
The belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a "fairy story" for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.
There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said. He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.
Researchers in the US say they have detected two signals which could possibly indicate the presence of particles of dark matter. But the study in Science journal reports the statistical likelihood of a detection of dark matter as 23%.
US scientists have reported the detection of signals that could indicate the presence of dark matter. The main announcement came from the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.
People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject.
The ultimate fate of the universe is a topic in physical cosmology, whose theoretical restrictions allow possible scenarios for the evolution and ultimate fate of the universe to be described and evaluated.
The measurements were made using a very sensitive telescope suspended from a balloon 40,000 metres (131,000 feet) above Antarctica. The instrument flew around the frozen continent between 29 December 1998 and 8 January 1999. It has taken since then to process the one billion measurements.
For budding time travellers, the future (or should that be the past?) is starting to look bleak. Hypothetical tunnels called wormholes once looked like the best bet for constructing a real time machine.
Astronomers have been able to test key consequences of Einstein's theories by studying the way a couple of black holes move around each other. One of these objects is a true colossus - a hole weighing 18 billion times the mass of our Sun; the other not quite so big at "only" 150 million Sun masses.
Stars, galaxies, planets, pretty much everything that makes up our everyday lives owes its existence to a cosmic quirk. The nature of this quirk, which allowed matter to dominate the Universe at the expense of antimatter, remains a mystery.
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