Justin Vasel

Justin Vasel has written 18 posts for astrobites

The Echoes of a Supernova

Spectra from the light echoes of distant supernovae can be used to probe the three dimensional structure of these massive and poorly-understood explosions.

Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes

Stephen Hawking proposes that black holes may not have definite event horizons, meaning they’re really more like “gray” holes.

Observing the Next Galactic Supernova

Supernovae happen in the Milky Way at a rate of two or three per century. But, will we be able to see it when it happens next, or will dusty galactic center prevent us from studying it?

Fishing For Neutrinos

A neutrino detector sits on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea whose goal it is to identify neutrinos from high-energy astrophysical sources.

How to Drag an Asteroid to Earth

With some assistance from gravity, it is possible with currently-available technologies to bring small asteroids into orbit next to Earth to be studied and mined.

Cartography of the Local Cosmos

Astronomers map out the local universe in a way that is both intuitive and fascinating, marking the birth of the new science of “Cosmography”.

The Great Disco Ball in the Sky

Frame Dragging is a phenomenon predicted by General Relativity, but its effects have been difficult to measure. A small, round satellite called LARES aims to change that.

Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets So Easily?

Title: Why Does Nature Form Exoplanet Easily Author: Kevin Heng Institution: University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability It’s an exciting time for planet hunters. Over the last few years, the search for extrasolar planets (“exoplanets” for short) has become one of the hottest topics in astronomy. During every exoplanet talk that I’ve attended […]

How the Sequester Affects Space Science

The Sequester is a major blow to scientific research and development in the United States. In this piece I discuss the long-term implications of such a reduction in scientific output and how the Sequester affects space-related research.

NGC 1277 as seen by Hubble

Introducing: The Over-massive Black Hole

Weighing in at 17 billion solar masses, NGC 1277 contains the largest black hole discovered to date. What makes this black hole exceptional it not just its size, but also that it does not seem to follow the relationship between most supermassive black holes and their host galaxies known as the M-sigma relation. The author’s discuss their findings and possible implications.

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