Local Astronomers: Big Bang Breakthrough Impacts Future Research - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Local Astronomers: Big Bang Breakthrough Impacts Future Research

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  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...

Earlier this week, scientists announced a groundbreaking discovery involving a breakthrough in the Big Bang Theory.

"...Direct evidence, effectively, of ripples in spacetime, but they're the size, basically, of the whole universe. These ripples in spacetime were imprinted there at the earliest, tiniest fraction of a second. It gives us knowledge of the highest energies, which is pretty amazing," said Dr. Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. Ransom said nowadays, the universe is accelerating in its expansion.

"It expanded much faster than the speed of light, which is kind of a strange thing. All of the universe was expanding. This whole process is known as inflation," said Ransom.

In order to understand "inflation," imagine the expansion of the universe in terms of baking a blueberry muffin. The galaxies spread throughout the universe are the blueberries. As the dough bakes, the blueberries don't expand themselves, but space around them does.

"At the time of the Big Bang, there were no galaxies. The only thing that there was were quantum fluctuations, which do this super, amazing, faster-than-light expansion. Those quantum fluctuations turn into waves that get imprinted," said Ransom.

For scientists like Ransom, the discovery didn't just break barriers on an international level. It also reinforced research that is conducted right here in West Virginia.

Marcus Fisher from NASA's IV&V Program in Fairmont says from his perspective, a primary focus is the type of technology used in the discovery: in Harvard's case, the BICEP2 on the South Pole.