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two colorful radio gets stream out either side of a central, invisible point

Galaxies

From Starving Black Holes to Warped Galaxies

Hot topics from the American Astronomical Society summer meeting range from colliding galaxies, to warped galaxies, to starving black holes.

Closest black hole?

Black Holes

Is the “Unicorn” the Closest Black Hole?

Astronomers again think they have found the black hole nearest to us, just 1,500 light-years away, but the find still needs to be confirmed.

polarized emission around black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Astronomers Detect Strong Magnetic Fields Around M87’s Black Hole

Event Horizon Telescope data support the idea that magnetic fields control how black holes feed and grow.

Farfarout object

Astronomy & Observing News

Planet-eating White Dwarfs, A Black Hole Cluster & The "Farfarout" Object

This week in astronomy news, astronomers found planet-eating white dwarfs, a cluster of black holes, and a "farfarout" object that's now the most distant known in the solar system.

illustration of X-ray binary system

Black Holes

Astronomy News: Galactic One-Two Punch, Black Hole Heartbeat Falters

In the news this week: Globular clusters have the detailed scoop on our galaxy's past, and a "heartbeat" black hole binary in the Milky Way has gone mysteriously dim.

Supermassive black hole devouring a star

Black Holes

Black Hole Feasts on Star, Bite by Bite

Like a cosmic blinker, a distant supermassive black hole is flaring every 114 days. Astronomers believe the eerily regular signal betrays the piecemeal devouring of a star.

illustration of active galaxy

Black Holes

Survey Finds Newborn Black Hole Jets in Distant Galaxies

Astronomers have spotted a surprising number of quasars with jets launched within a couple of decades.

Stars orbit black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Black Hole Scientists Win 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

This year’s award goes to three researchers who played key roles in developing the theoretical and observational evidence for black holes.

supermassive black hole with accretion disk

Black Holes

Black Holes Grow by Gas, Not Mergers, Most of Their Lives

Calculations suggest how black holes have amassed mass and predict what the black holes’ spins should be if this picture is correct.

illustration of triple system HR 6819

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Closest Black Hole to Earth? Maybe

An international team of astronomers says that they’ve discovered the closest black hole to Earth — an invisible object dancing with two large, bright stars 1,000 light-years away.

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Scientists Predict Countless Rings of Light Encircle Black Holes

Detailed calculations reveal a surprise about how black holes bend light around themselves, opening a new possibility for future observations.

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Bubbles, Heated Clouds Point to Active Past for Galactic Center

Two studies support the suspicion that our galaxy’s black hole had one or more outbursts a few million years ago.

Black Holes

Video: Black Hole Warps Light

The hypnotizing effect of a black hole on its surroundings appears to dramatic effect in this simulation.

Event Horizon Telescope 2017

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

How Does the Event Horizon Telescope Work?

The Event Horizon Telescope creates the image of a black hole shadow thanks to the precise coordination of a worldwide telescope network. Here’s how they do it.

shadow image of M87

Black Holes

Scientists Unveil First Black Hole Image

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has reconstructed the shadow of a supermassive black hole.

primordial black hole illo

Black Holes

Could Dark Matter Be Black Holes?

Astronomers are reconsidering primordial black holes as an answer to the invisible matter mystery, but recent observations disfavor at least some sizes of black hole.

Sgr A*

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Piercing the Veil of Our Black Hole

Astronomers have overcome the interference of clumpy interstellar gas to catch a glimpse of the gas around the Milky Way’s central black hole.

wormhole mouth

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Science Fiction Wormholes Don’t Exist

Hoping for faster-than-light travel? Wormholes aren't the paths you're looking for.

Storm on Saturn, Photo by Damian Peach

Celestial News & Events

Big Scope Breakout: New Supernovae, Novae, Bright Spot on Saturn

The sky's been bursting with exploding stars this season. Plus there's a new storm on Saturn. What's a skywatcher to do? Haul out the scope!

protostar cloud

Black Holes

First Black Holes Maybe Had Supersonic Help

Gas flows in the early universe may have kept clouds from collapsing too soon, enabling them to grow into massive black hole seeds.

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