Avi Loeb will deliver a series of four lectures as the recipient of the 2012 Galileo Chair

June 25, 2012
Avi Loeb will deliver a series of four lectures as the recipient of the 2012 Galileo Chair ("Cattedra Galileiana") at Scoula Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. The lecture titles and times (in Italy) are as follows:

Lecture I | Tue Jun 26th - 11.00 a.m.
Structure Formation in the Universe (video)

Lecture II | Wed Jun 27th - 11.00 a.m.
The First Galaxies and Reionization (video)

Lecture III | Tue Jul 03rd - 11.00 a.m.
A Closer Look at Black Holes (video)

Lecture IV | Wed Jul 04th - 11.00 a.m.
Future Frontiers in Cosmology from a Galilean Perspective (video)

video recordings are available subsequently at

Astronomers Seek Biggest Stars

June 14, 2012

Listen to this Podcast from Scientific American. How big can a star get? Based on observations, astronomers think there's a limit of about 150 times the mass of the sun for the vast majority of stars.

Listen to a discussion about stars that may have with masses of up to 600 suns according to a study submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. [Tony Pan and Abraham Loeb,"Identifying Stars of Mass 150 Msun from Their Eclipse by a Binary Companion"

Runaway black hole provides evidence to support Einstein’s theory of gravity, Harvard astronomers say

June 5, 2012

CREDIT: NASA/Chandra X-ray observatory/Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory/Francesca Civano

Harvard-Smithsonian astronomers have found a galaxy (within the outlined box) that contains a massive black hole that is being ejected at several million miles per hour. Researchers used a combination of images from telescopes to narrow their ideas about what is happening in this galaxy, supporting the ejected black hole theory. The top image shows a single source of X-rays, indicating that there is a single black hole in this galaxy moving away from the star cluster at the center of the galaxy.

Boston Globe Article

http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.0815 (observational data)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.6202 (theoretical interpretation)

Chandra Press Release

Scientists: In 4 billion years, our galaxy will smash into Andromeda but Earth will survive

June 1, 2012

NASA/Associated Press -

This illustration released by NASA depicts a view of the night sky just before the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy, left, and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. About 3.75 billion years from now, Andromeda’s disk fills the field of view and its gravity begins to create tidal distortions in the Milky Way. The view is inspired by dynamical computer modeling of the future collision between the two galaxies.