Posts by 

Andy Briggs

Why does a variable star brighten and dim?

A variable star is one that brightens and dim in a cycle that might last hours, or weeks, or months, or longer. What makes a star change its brightness?

What is a quasar?

A quasar is an extremely bright and distant point-like source visible to radio telescopes. The source is a so-called Active Galactic Nucleus, fueled by a supermassive black hole.

What is the Milky Way?

When someone says "Milky Way," do you think of the starry pathway across our sky, or of the great pinwheel-shaped galaxy in space? Both are correct!

What is a supernova?

A supernova is a star's colossal explosion at the end of its life, potentially outshining its entire galaxy. Read about the causes and types of supernovae here.

What is a galaxy?

We live in a galaxy called the Milky Way. But there is so much more to know about these grand and glorious star islands in space! Click in here, and prepare to have your mind expanded.

What is a globular cluster?

Unlike the open star clusters - containing sibling stars, scattered through the disk of our galaxy and presumably other galaxies - globular clusters are big, symmetrical and old, like an earthly city's oldest and most staid citizens.

What is the Big Bang?

In the view of modern cosmologists, the Big Bang is the event that marked the birth of our universe.

What’s a constellation? What’s an asterism?

Both constellations and asterisms are patterns of stars. What's the difference?

A mystery solved? Fast Radio Burst detected within Milky Way

Fast Radio Bursts are very mysterious bursts of radio waves - perhaps just a thousandth of a second long - coming from all over the sky. This new discovery of one in our own galaxy is a stunner!

What are gravitational waves?

First postulated by Albert Einstein in 1916 but not observed directly until September 2015, gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime.