Astronomers are searching galaxies with no central bulges for intermediate-mass black holes — the missing links between the small black holes that result from collapsing stars and the monsters in the cores of bulge galaxies. A team reports that it's found one — or maybe three.
Poring over sky-survey data, a Dutch schoolteacher noticed a starless blue-green blob near a faint galaxy. Astronomers think "Hanny's Voorwerp" is a cloud of intergalactic gas lit by an active galactic nucleus (AGN) hidden in the galaxy just to its north. But if so, why don't we see the AGN?
The Herschel Space Observatory and the Planck Surveyor, launched May 14th on a single Ariane 5 rocket, will peer deeply into dust clouds and map the microwave background.