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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  • Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Tazewell County Man Busted for Growing Marijuana

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:04:51 GMT
    Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.Roger Lee Sparks, Jr.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
    A Richlands man is in custody after Tazewell County Deputies find $350,000 worth of pot, including 115 plants and more than a pound of harvested marijuana, and guns in his home.
  • Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Officers In Tazewell County Work To Keep Your Holiday Travel Safe

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:50:12 GMT
    Police patrolling the roads this Labor DayPolice patrolling the roads this Labor Day
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
    According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected to hit the road this Labor Day. Many police officers are out in force to keep you safe.
  • After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    After fatal McDowell County crash, Troopers caution against drinking and driving over Holiday Weekend

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:00:38 GMT
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...
    While many are safely celebrating Labor Day, State Troopers want to caution everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.The West Virginia Department of Transportation says over the last 5 years in the Mountain State, almost 800 people have been killed in a drink driving crash just during Labor Day Weekend. Troopers released these pictures from Sunday morning's fatal crash to show the consequences drinking and driving can have.Read full story on Sunday morning's fatal crash in McDowell ...

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.