The confounding nature of gravity explained – kind of
There’s a big contradiction in physics and astronomy, and it’s all to do with gravity. On the human scale it keeps our feet on the ground, yet on the cosmic scale astronomers observe an opposite effect, with the expansion of the Universe speeding up. From one point of view, no such force even exists! And it doesn’t end there – cosmology writer Marcus Chown uncovers more paradoxes in the confusing nature of this force on page 38.
There’s another mystery explored on page 73, where astronomy author Govert Schilling looks at the quandary caused by intense bursts of radio waves observed thousands of times each day. The latest progress in explaining these fast radio bursts is revealing a Universe far weirder than we could have imagined.
There are plenty of unanswered questions in our own Solar System, too. On page 32 science writer Ben Skuse describes what the James Webb Space Telescope will do to shed
light on the puzzles of the planets. And we look to the centre of the Solar System with our guide to observing the Sun in white light on page 67. There are many ways to get safe views of sunspots and other details on our nearest star – whether you decide to buy the kit or make it yourself, we’ve got it covered.
Enjoy the issue!