astrophysics

From Forbes, Dec. 27, 2020: Astronomers have long known that the matter that they’ve seen is less than half of the atomic matter that exists. Several hypotheses have been advanced as to where that matter could be found. Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes how a team of astronomers has combined a series of astronomical facilities, including the Dark Energy Camera, to look for a filament of gas connecting two galaxy clusters. They were able to image the largest and hottest filament recorded to date.

From CNN, Dec. 18, 2020: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln summarizes the results of a group of researchers who, through simulation, reconstruct the family tree of the Milky Way, including the merging of the previously unknown dwarf galaxy Kraken.

From CNN, Nov. 28, 2020: The explosion of a supernova is so powerful that modern telescopes can see it half a universe away. A cautious person might wonder, “What would happen to Earth if this happened to a nearby star?” In this article, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln discusses a paper from University of Colorado at Boulder’s Robert Brakenridge, who claims that he has found evidence here on Earth of nearby supernovae. What form does this evidence take? Ancient radioactive tree rings.

Can you picture something nine million miles across and yet is invisible? No, and neither can I or anyone else. It is a supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light-years away. The sun is eight light-minutes away, and the next nearest star about four light-years away. We are in an outer suburb of the galaxy. In contrast, there are dozens of stars within one light-year of that supermassive black hole, orbiting around it at speeds up to 8,000 kilometers persecond!

NOvA far detector

The NOvA experiment, best known for its measurements of neutrino oscillations using particle beams from Fermilab accelerators, has been turning its attention to measurements of cosmic phenomena. In a series of results, NOvA reports on neutrinos from supernovae, gravitational-wave events from black hole mergers, muons from cosmic rays, and its search for the elusive monopole.

The moment our universe came into existence fits one part of the definition of a miracle very well, as does the appearance of the imbalance between matter and antimatter.