Posts by 

Andy Briggs

Astronomy Essentials

What are red giants?

What are red giants? Most main-sequence stars, like our sun, will become one. Red giants swell to such a large size they can swallow their inner planets.

What is a magnetar?

Magnetic magnetars Can you imagine a magnet so powerful that it could wipe every credit card on Earth from a...

What is a quasar?

A quasar is an extremely bright, distant object visible to radio telescopes. The source is an active galactic nucleus fueled by a supermassive black hole.

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 the Big Bang?

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

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.

What is dark energy?

Dark energy is one of the great unsolved mysteries of cosmology. It's now thought to make up 68% of everything in the universe.

What is dark matter?

What is dark matter? It doesn't emit light. It hasn't been directly observed. Yet it appears to exist and to exert a major influence on galaxies.

What is astrophysics?

Observational astronomy and astrophysics work together to further our understanding of the cosmos. Astrophysicists apply the laws of physics and physical theories to interpret the light gathered by observational astronomers.