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An artist's impression of a gas cloud as it passes the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Black Holes

Flares from the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way released an unusual number of strong flares in 2019. Now, astronomers are trying to figure out why.

Stars orbit black hole

Astronomy and Society

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.

Magnetic field in the galactic center

Milky Way

Magnetism Rules in the Milky Way’s Core

Recent observations from the airborne SOFIA observatory show that magnetic fields — not gravity — govern the gas at the center of the Milky Way.

star draws rosette around black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Black Hole Changes Star’s Orbit in Gravity Test

A long-awaited measurement indicates that a star whizzing around the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole has changed its trajectory.

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.

Illustration of black holes merging

Black Holes

60-Second Astro News: Black Hole Hubbub

The Milky Way's black hole' flares unexpectedly, a distant black hole gets the hiccups, and a reanalysis of LIGO data shows the first detection of black hole "ringdown."

star in gravitational well

Black Holes

Galactic Center Gravity Test Confirmed

A second team of astronomers has now confirmed the light from a star passing near our galaxy’s central black hole behaved as predicted by Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Sgr A*

Black Holes

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.

hotspot near event horizon

Black Holes

Gas Seen Moving Near the Event Horizon

Astronomers have detected three flares from near our galaxy’s central black hole that look like gas closely orbiting the unseen object.

Stars orbit black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Star Swings Around Black Hole, Tests Gravity

Astronomers have seen a star’s light redden as it passed our galaxy’s central black hole, just as general relativity predicts.

G2 en route to black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

More Mystery Objects in the Galactic Center

Astronomers have discovered three more red, dusty objects near the Milky Way’s central black hole that could be merged stars.

galactic center, outflows marked

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Infant Stars Huddle near Black Hole

A team of astronomers has found signs of small stars forming within a few light-years of the Milky Way’s central black hole.

Black Holes

Milky Way’s Black Hole Is Throwing Cosmic Spitballs

Every now and then, the Milky Way’s central, supermassive black hole tears apart a star and flings away some of its innards. Now astronomers think they know how to spot these cosmic spitballs.

Milky Way Center in X-rays

Black Holes

Is the Milky Way's Black Hole Feeding?

The answer is a tantalizing maybe. Astronomers are investigating whether an increase in the number of flares from Sgr A* are due to the recent close passage of a dusty object known as G2.

Black Holes

Best Evidence Yet That Black Holes Exist

A team of astronomers has found indirect evidence of a supermassive black hole’s event horizon, providing further proof that these wacky objects actually exist in nature.

G2 approaches Sgr A*

Black Holes

G2 Survives Black Hole Pass

The gaseous object G2 has survived its swing around the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, but the questions of what it is and where it comes from remain unanswered.

Black Hole-Jet Simulation

Black Holes

A MAD New Way to Make Black Hole Jets

Newly published observations provide the first real evidence supporting a theory that tells us how black hole jets form.

Milky Way

Astronomers Discover Black Hole's Dieting Strategy

The Milky Way's central supermassive black hole eats only a fraction of the gas available to it. New X-ray observations suggest how the beast manages to stay so trim when faced with a feast.

Milky Way

New Pulsar Explores Heart of Milky Way

A pulsar discovered last April is helping astronomers measure the magnetic field surrounding our galaxy’s central black hole.

Milky Way

Snack Starts Swinging Around Black Hole

Astronomers around the world are watching as the gaseous object called G2 heads for a close pass around the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole. Now it looks like the distended cloud is starting to swing back toward us.

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