Cosmological Enigmas: Pulsars, Quasars, and Other Deep-Space by Mark Kidger

By Mark Kidger

The universe is gigantic. particularly massive. And it will get greater on a daily basis. In Cosmological Enigmas, Mark Kidger weaves jointly heritage, technology, and technology fiction to think about questions on the bigness of area and the unusual items that lie trembling on the fringe of infinity. What are quasars, blazars, and gamma-ray bursters? may we ever commute to the celebs? do we quite anticipate extraterrestrial beings to touch us? From the profound (what facts will we need to aid the massive bang theory?) to the weird (can there be a couple of universe and, if this is the case, what number dimensions does it possess?) to the everyday-yet-profound (why is the sky darkish at night?), Kidger explains not just what we all know yet how we got here to grasp it. Reflecting on how stars shine and what may possibly lie past the sting of the universe, Kidger takes us at the final cosmic trip. (October 2008)

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Extra info for Cosmological Enigmas: Pulsars, Quasars, and Other Deep-Space Questions

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The binary must have started as two massive stars, one of which evolved extremely rapidly and turned into a supernova, blasting 80 to 90 percent of its mass into space and quite probably at least part of its companion star. During the supernova explosion, the core imploded with such violence that it was converted into a black hole. For this to happen it must certainly have been greater than 20 times the mass of the Sun, perhaps very much greater, How Do We Know That Black Holes Exist? 33 because a smaller star would have left only a neutron star behind.

3. They were strong sources of radio energy at long wavelengths but were progressively weaker at shorter ones. 4. They had spectra with strong, broad emission lines that showed a large red shift. 5. They were variable in brightness, although their brightness changed only slowly over weeks and months. 3 In their time-honored tradition, just when quasars seemed to be coming under some semblance of control, life was about to become interesting again. 4 Initially the observations were sporadic, but these showed that the object was wildly variable.

3 In their time-honored tradition, just when quasars seemed to be coming under some semblance of control, life was about to become interesting again. 4 Initially the observations were sporadic, but these showed that the object was wildly variable. Not only did its visible brightness change, by a large amount, but so too did its infrared and radio brightness, far more than most quasars. For a couple of years around 1971, it got enormously brighter (by about a factor of 15). Because OJ287 was not just much brighter in the visible but also in the infrared and radio, and thus was interesting to many diļ¬€erent kinds of astronomers, it Who Is the Strangest in the Cosmic Zoo?

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