Gravitational waves captured by space-based detectors could help identify the origins of supermassive black holes, according to new computer simulations. Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology ran the huge cosmological simulations that can be used to predict the rate at which gravitational waves caused by collisions between the monster black holes might be detected.
Hubble Space Telescope observations have taken advantage of gravitational lensing to reveal the largest sample of the faintest and earliest known galaxies in the universe, formed just 600 million years after the Big Bang. Astronomers have determined, for the first time with some confidence, that these small galaxies were vital to creating the universe that we see today.
UK researchers have just signed an agreement to lead one of the first instruments for what will become the World’s largest visible and infrared telescope, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The spectrograph, called HARMONI, will provide the European Southern Observatory’s telescope with a sensitivity that is up to hundreds of times better than any current telescope of its kind.
A team of UK scientists is attempting to build the first cosmobiological model to explore the habitability of the universe. Using a survey of more than 140,000 galaxies nearest to Earth, the team found that elliptical galaxies — rather than spirals like our Milky Way — could be the most probable “cradles of life”.
In his second report from the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting 2015, Kulvinder Singh Chadha ponders the nature of dark matter and whether cosmic jets — jets of material from active galaxies travelling close to the speed of light — may correlate with dense regions of dark matter in the Universe.
Astronomers using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.