3C 273

Black Holes

Rotating Gas in a Quasar’s Heart

Astronomers have “imaged” gas as it orbits a supermassive black hole some 2 billion light-years away.

Illustration of black holes merging

Black Holes

What LIGO Teaches Us About Black Holes

The rising count of gravitational-wave events is giving us a new look at a once-invisible population of black holes.

Illustration of black holes merging

Black Holes

Gravitational-Wave Observatories Bag Four Black-Hole Collisions

A re-analysis of data from LIGO and Virgo brings the number of gravitational-wave detections to 11, including the most distant and most powerful black-hole merger yet discovered.

People, Places, and Events

2017 Nobel Goes to Gravitational Waves

Three American physicists have received the Nobel Prize in physics for their contributions to the discovery of gravitational waves.

magnetic fields around black hole

Milky Way

Our “Magnetic” Black Hole

Astronomers have detected magnetic fields writhing around the Milky Way's central black hole.

Supermassive black hole, NASA/JPL-Caltech

Science-based Q&A

Sizes of Black Holes: How Big is a Black Hole?

Black holes are singularities: points of infinitely small volume with infinite density. However, the amount of a mass concentrated in a black hole varies, and the mass determines how wide the black hole's sphere of influence is.

Black Holes

Astronomers Approach Black Hole

The Event Horizon Telescope team has unmasked the heart of the jet-shooting galaxy M87, paving the way for astronomers to discover how black holes create their superpowered streamers.

Black Holes

Black Hole Eats Stripped Star

A closely-watched flare from a gargantuan black hole in a distant galaxy has revealed to astronomers not only the mass of the black hole that ate the snack but the type of star that met its end as the meal.


Black Hole Breakfast En Route

Astronomers have discovered a dusty, stretched-out cloud heading for the supermassive black hole lurking in the Milky Way's core. The blob could be the meal the beast needs to wake up for a bit from its slumber, if the cloud survives its incoming trip on the dining cart.