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Cosmology

Looking for the big picture?

It doesn’t get any bigger than cosmology: the science of how the universe began and developed. What is it made of? How is it structured? What is its eventual fate, billions of years in the future? Supercomputer models and observations from ever-larger telescopes on the ground and in space have transformed cosmology into a predictive science, providing evidence that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, propelled by a mysterious pressure called “dark energy.” The Hayden Planetarium Space Show Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery.

Blog Post Behind This Week’s News about the Big Bang Wondering what this week’s breaking story about the Big Bang theory means for our knowledge of our universe? Astrophysicist Mordecai-Mark... March 19, 2014 Blog Post Help NASA Find a Planet A new citizen-science tool invites the public to help search for nearby worlds, including a possible undiscovered planet in our own... February 15, 2017 Video Exploring the Dark Universe: Dark Matter Curator Mordecai-Mark Mac Low on dark matter. Blog Post Detonating White Dwarfs as Supernovae New model explains how inspiraling dead stars can explode at a rate high enough to match the number of Type Ia supernovae seen in... October 4, 2016 Video Our Expanding Universe What's stretching space at an ever-faster pace? Article How Did the Universe Begin? Find out how the Big Bang Theory came to be. Educator Materials Profile: Georges Lemaître, Father of the Big Bang When a Catholic priest—cosmologist first proposed that the universe began as a "primeval atom," it seemed preposterous.... Article Space and Time Do you know how to describe where you are in the fourth dimension? Or what it would take to turn a rabbit into a black hole? Explore... Audio Podcast: What is Relativity, and Why Should You Care? You don’t have to be an Einstein to understand his theories of relativity. March 14, 2018   Gravitational Waves Detected LIGO detectors open a new window on the universe. Blog Post Watch for Rare Recurrent Nova Begins Thanks to the work of Museum researcher Dr. Ashley Pagnotta, amateur astronomers are watching a distant star that's due to erupt... August 16, 2016 Educator Materials Newton's Laws of Motion and Gravity Applied to Meteorites Did it all start when an apple bopped Isaac Newton on the head? This activity explores some of the ways his fundamental laws are... Educator Materials Profile: Carl Sagan and the Quest for Life in the Universe Cosmos, Contact, Icarus and Billions and Billions—from TV and movies to professional journals and best-selling books, Carl Sagan's... Audio Frontiers Lecture: One Second After the Big Bang Join Christopher Tully, professor of physics at Princeton University, as he discusses a new experiment and its potential to challenge... July 23, 2015 Audio Frontiers Lecture: Gravitons, Exotic Higgs Bosons, Or Nothing At All In this podcast, particle physicist James Beacham discusses what we’ve learned about gravitons, Higgs bosons, dark matter, and what’s... March 9, 2017 Audio SciCafe: When Black Holes Collide Barnard College professor and astronomer Janna Levin shares her scientific research on the first recordings of a gravitational wave... December 29, 2016 Audio Frontiers Lecture: Gravitational Waves - Messengers from the Warped Universe In this podcast, physicist Nergis Mavalvala discusses how we search for gravitational waves and decode the information they carry... May 12, 2016 Educator Materials Case Study: The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation At this distance in time and space, can we prove that the universe was created with a single explosion? See how scientists have detected... Article Meet the Universe's Main Attraction... Gravity Find out why a ball thrown in the air will return to the ground. Educator Materials Profile: Vera Rubin and Dark Matter For every visible star in the observable universe, there are nine masses that are invisible and unidentified. Learn more about the... Audio Frontiers Lecture: In Search of the True Universe Astrophysicist and scholar Martin Harwit addresses current challenges in astrophysics and the understanding of our Universe in view... January 29, 2015 Video 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation? From sci-fi idea to serious debate. Audio Frontiers Lectures: Searching for the Oldest Stars In this podcast, join MIT astronomer Anna Frebel for a firsthand account of the science of stellar archaeology. February 11, 2016 Video Many Star Types Host Planet-Building Material Planet-forming particles swarm an unlikely star host.