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BellaOnline's Astronomy Editor

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Astrophysics uses physics to study the universe and the objects in it such as stars, galaxies, black holes and nebulae. Cosmology is the study of the formation and evolution of the universe.

ABC of Astronomy - D Is for Double Star star
We´re used to having just one Sun, so the planet Tatooine in George Lucas´s Star Wars seems exotic with its double sun. Yet at least half the stars we can see in the sky are doubles. But a "double star" can be a true binary or just an optical double, which is a chance alignment of unrelated stars.

Bang! - Book Review star
What would it take to explain the Big Bang Theory? James Lu Dunbar´s "Bang!" might do it - and amuse you and your children at the same time. It´s a splendid little book which tells the story of the universe in verse and appealing graphics.

Bang! The Complete History of the Universe - book star
If you don’t understand the Big Bang theory, would you like to? If Stephen Hawking was too scary for you, how about a lovely book that turns mathematical cosmology into plain English? A famous rock musician, a great popular astronomer and a working astrophysicist got together to tell this story.

Big Bang Theory star
How did our universe come to be? The Big Bang theory is the explanation that most scientists currently accept. Let´s look at what we mean by a theory, what the Big Bang story is and why it´s not as crazy as sounds.

Cosmic Collisions star
We no longer see the heavens as perfect and the stars as eternal and unchanging. Even the Universe had a beginning, and everything that we observe changes and evolves. Many of these changes involve cosmic collisions.

Dark Universe - film review star
How did space and time begin? How did the Universe evolve? Why is the Universe dark? The "Dark Universe" planetarium show looks at these questions, and how science got some of the answers. It´s informative, up-to-date, and tells the story with stunning imagery and Neil deGrasse Tyson´s narration.

Edge of the Sky – book review star
Robert Trotta lectures in astrophysics at Imperial College London. He´s also a science communicator who likes to share his knowledge with the public. So he set himself the task of writing about the Universe using only words from a list of the 1000 most common English words. How did he do?

Empire of the Stars - book review star
A fateful meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in London adversely affected the lives of two scientists and hindered progress in the study of black holes for a half a century. So says the author of Empire of the Stars. BellaOnline´s astronomy editor liked the book, but wasn´t convinced.

George & the Big Bang - book review star
Will a secret organization and an evil genius succeed in destroying a big physics experiment and killing the scientists involved? Can George and Annie find and disarm the quantum bomb? How is Schrödinger´s cat involved? Another great blend of fantasy and science from Lucy and Stephen Hawking.

George´s Secret Key to the Universe - book review star
In Lucy & Stephen Hawking´s book, the hero George used to have a quiet life, but now he´s trying to rescue his next door neighbor from a black hole. Here´s a lively illustrated story, beautiful color images of the universe, and from the man who knows, a great explanation of what a black hole is.

Gravitational Waves – What Are They? star
In February 2016 news of gravitational waves went round the world. But what are these waves sometimes described as ripples in spacetime? To find out let's go back over a century to a time when Albert Einstein was completing the work that would change our view of the Universe.

Gravity - Cosmic Glue star
Aristotle's perfect cosmos didn't need gravity to hold it together. However a system with planets orbiting the Sun called for an explanation. In the process, Newton was inspired by a falling apple, but Galileo's experiments with falling bodies didn't involve dropping them off the Tower of Pisa.

Quasar Facts for Kids star
Quasars are the brightest and most distant objects in the universe. And when we see them we are looking into the past, even before our Sun and Solar System existed.

Smallest Star in the Universe star
No one could possibly say that a star is the smallest one in the whole Universe. But the smallest known star is 2MASS J05233822-1403022, which is a pretty big name for a star that´s about the size of Saturn. Could there be even smaller ones as yet unknown?

Stellar Evolution star
The life histories of stars from birth in nebula, through the main part of their lives (the main sequence) and on to the end, possibly as a white dwarf or in a supernova explosion.

The Magic Furnace - book review star
What is everything made of? What makes the Sun shine? "The Magic Furnace" relates the tale of how science answered these questions. The book tells a good detective story with great characters, and clues include the Big Bang and the biggest explosions in the universe.

Top Astronomy Stories 2012 star
What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?

Top Five Dubious Astronomy Stories 2014 star
Have you read about the Top Ten Astronomy Stories for 2014? This article is complementary to it. Here are my choices for the top five debatable stories of the year. They were widely reported, but there isn´t really enough evidence to accept their conclusions.

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