Space, Time, Physics!
Learn about our universe from the experts who spend their lives exploring it.
Published February 19, 2013
Just a few hundred years ago, most people believed the world was flat, with a definitive endpoint. Over the last century, thanks in large part to the development of the field called astrophysics and the technological advances that have accompanied it, we have learned incredible amounts about the vast recesses of our universe—areas so far away that human eyes can never hope to see them directly. For example, the photo above, of a spiral galaxy 60 million light years from Earth, was recently captured by the Dark Energy Camera in Chile. The Dark Energy Survey Collaboration between Fermilab and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory aims to tell us more about our universe (why, for example, the universe is expanding an increasing rate) by mapping the distant sky. Questions about our universe—such such as why the universe is expanding rapidly and what gives particles mass—and the search for clues, can be as fascinating as the answers. Peruse the following Academy resources to learn more about our universe—both the known and unknown.
Black Holes and Astrobiology
In this eBriefing, Caleb Scharf, Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University, describes the latest science on black holes and gives an update on the search for life on other planets.
Inter-Galactic Biodiversity: Astrophysicists Search for Habitable Planets
Ben Oppenheimer, a comparative exoplanetary scientist, talks about the engineering and astrophysics of the search for habitable planets, as well as the philosophy behind it (what would we do if we encountered other life forms?).
Moon, Mars, and Beyond
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and other five panelists debate whether NASA should bother going back to the moon, or just focus on Mars instead.
What Time Is It?
Famed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and theoretical physicist Brian Greene dissect time as we know it. What is the smallest unit of time, and what does it look like? For starters, you should stop looking at the clock, and start looking at the universe.