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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.

Milky Way

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.

Most distant quasar

Black Holes

A Supermassive Black Hole on the Move

This supermassive black hole is restless, and astronomers want to know why.

Astronomy & Observing News

This Week in Astronomy Pictures: A Magnetic Whirlpool, Windblown Jets & More

Whether you're here for eye candy or a more cosmic perspective, these astronomy pictures released this week will do the trick.

Most distant quasar

Black Holes

What the Most Distant Quasar Tells Us About Black Hole Birth

The existence of a quasar when the universe was only 670 million years old is helping astronomers understand how black holes are born.

OJ 287 (artist's concept)

Black Holes

Black Hole Duo Flares Right on Time

Astronomers have forecast a flare from a supermassive black hole duo 3.5 billion light-years away.

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."

Quasar (art)

Black Holes

Astronomers Discover Most Distant Lensed Quasar

The most distant magnified quasar known promises to shed light on the universe's early years.

hotspot around black hole

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Astronomers Use Annihilated Star to Clock Black Hole’s Spin

The glow of a star torn up by a supermassive black hole has enabled researchers to measure how fast the black hole whirls around.

3C 273

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Rotating Gas in a Quasar’s Heart

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

ALMA image of quasar merger

Astronomy & Observing News

60-Second Astro News: A Carnivorous Quasar and a Galaxy Ghost

In astronomy news this week: The most luminous quasar known in the cosmos is devouring three galaxy companions, while a newly discovered ghostly satellite of the Milky Way hints at hordes more just waiting to be found.

Still from simulation of two supermassive black holes merging

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Video: The Glow of Spiraling Black Holes

New calculations reveal what two supermassive black holes about to merge would look like in ultraviolet and X-rays.

Chandra COSMOS Legacy Survey

Black Holes

Middleweight Black Holes Provide Window to Early Universe

How did supermassive black holes form? Two studies discovered dozens of middling-mass black holes in dwarf galaxies to fuel an ongoing debate.

conceptual image of a black hole

Galaxies

Do Big Black Holes Wander the Galaxy?

New simulation work suggests that galaxies like the Milky Way could be home to a dozen supermassive black holes.

Hubble images most distant star

Astronomy & Observing News

60-Second Astro News: Imaging Black Hole Jets and Distant Stars

Astronomy news this week: Hubble images the most distant star, radio telescopes combine forces to probe black hole jet, and neutron star hotspots explained.

The torus at the center of M77 / NGC 1068

Black Holes

Astronomers Watch Donut Rotate Around Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers have detected a torus rotating around the supermassive black hole at the center of spiral galaxy Messier 77, collecting observations that may shed light on why these weird structures exist.

Reverberation mapping

Black Holes

60-Second Astro News: Black Holes Galore

Supermassive black holes are difficult to observe and measure, yet they have profound effects on their host galaxies. Read up on the latest black hole discoveries presented at the Washington D.C. meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Black hole accretion disk + jet

Black Holes

Astronomers Decode a Black Hole Jet

Two telescopes — one on the ground and one in space — watched a black hole’s jet turn on, enabling astronomers to probe its origin.

A Restless Supermassive Black Hole

Black Holes

Is There a Difference Between Starving and Feasting Black Holes?

A few decades ago, astronomers thought they had figured out how quasars operate. Now, a new study has thrown a wrench in the works.

Mrk 533 in Hickson 96 compact group of galaxies

Black Holes

Supermassive Black Holes Discovered in Close Tango

Astronomers have found what could be the closest known pair of supermassive black holes detected via direct imaging, orbiting each other only a light-year apart.

Supermassive black hole binary (art)

Black Holes

Supermassive Black Holes Observed in Close Dance

Astronomers monitoring a tight pair of supermassive black holes have observed their orbital motion.

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