Black Holes: Stranger Than Fiction Black Holes: Stranger Than Fiction
The concept of black holes has intrigued scientists for hundreds of years. For an introduction to the topic, watch "Black Holes: Stranger than Fiction," the latest video from the Texas Cosmology Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Narrated by StarDate radio's Sandy Wood, the video explains the different types of black holes, and speculates on how they form and evolve.
Dark Matter: Seeing the Invisible Dark Matter: Seeing the Invisible
The glowing stars, planets, and gas clouds account for only about one-sixth of all the matter in the universe. The rest produces no detectable energy at all, but reveals its presence by exerting a gravitational pull on the visible matter around it. Scientists believe this mysterious dark matter could be a type of heavy subatomic particle that was forged in the Big Bang.
Cosmic Inflation: Puffing Up the Universe Cosmic Inflation: Puffing Up the Universe
Before the Big Bang, which created the matter and energy in the universe, there was a Big Push: a moment of rapid expansion known as cosmic inflation. This epoch lasted only a tiny fraction of a fraction of a second, yet it accounts for many of the observed properties of the universe. And it also suggests that ours is but one of an infinite number of universes.
Dark Energy: Speeding Up the Universe Dark Energy: Speeding Up the Universe
The universe is expanding more rapidly as it ages, but scientists aren't yet sure why. It could be caused by an energy from space itself, by undiscovered particles or fields, or it could simply be that our understanding of gravity is incomplete. Whatever the cause, scientists have dubbed this mysterious expansion dark energy.
Teaching an Old Telescope New Tricks Teaching an Old Telescope New Tricks
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly. McDonald Observatory astronomer Fritz Benedict explains how a 75-year-old telescope remains a vital scientific instrument today. This problem also includes a look at the construction and dedication of the 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope, with excerpts from the only known audio recording of Otto Struve, the Observatory's first director.
Preserving Dark Skies Preserving Dark Skies
City dwellers are being robbed. Light pollution not only takes away the view of the bounteous night sky, it wastes money. This video offers some easy solutions to the problem of the missing night sky.


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