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supercomputer simulation shows gas flows in multiple colors

Black Holes

Where Did the First Quasars Come From?

New research shows how black holes with tens of thousands of Suns' worth of mass can form in the universe's early years.

diffuse glow surrounding a bright core

Black Holes

Monstrous Black Holes Spin More Slowly — But Why?

X-ray observations add to growing evidence that the most massive black holes have a different past than their lightweight peers.

Supermassive black hole binary animation

Black Holes

These Two Black Hole Behemoths Will Merge in 10,000 Years

Astronomers have discovered a pair of supermassive black holes that whirl around each other every two years.

Artist's impression of AGN

Galaxies

Supermassive Black Hole Hides Behind a Ring of Dust

A high-resolution infrared image has revealed a dust screen obscuring a gas-devouring supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy NGC 1068, confirming 30-year-old predictions.

An artist's impression of the dramatic outflows from an active galaxy’s nucleus.

Black Holes

Dwarf Galaxies Shed Light on Black Hole Origins

Astronomers are searching nearby dwarf galaxies for the ancient origins of supermassive black holes.

Leo I dwarf galaxy

Milky Way

Tiny Galaxy’s Giant Black Hole Throws Astronomers for a Loop

A satellite galaxy dwarfed by the Milky Way has a black hole nearly as massive as the one at the center of our galaxy.

Image of two bright galaxy cores

Galaxies

Nearest Supermassive Black Hole Pair Discovered

Astronomers have observed a pair of supermassive black holes set to collide in 250 million years.

Black hole-powered mushroom cloud in space

Black Holes

Astronomy in Pictures: Black Holes, Baby Stars, and Magnetic "Tunnels"

Astronomers witness the unfurling of a black hole-powered mushroom cloud, a baby super-Jupiter, and a magnetic "tunnel" around the solar system.

M13

Black Holes

60-second Astro News: White Dwarfs Still Burn, Black Holes Merge

This week in astronomy news, we learn that some white dwarfs still burn and image X-rays from black holes almost 12 billion light-years away.

Zoomed-in view of barred spiral galaxy NGC 4921

Black Holes

Watch Black Holes Grow, Galaxies Fall

Watch black holes grow and galaxies fall — astro photos and visualizations to get you through the week.

Black hole accretion disk

Black Holes

How Black Holes Eat Reveals Their Mass

No one knows why quasars flicker — but astronomers are using these wavering beacons to "weigh" the black holes that power them.

Cen A jets

Black Holes

Event Horizon Telescope Reveals Curious Jet Structure from Black Hole

Observations of the nearest radio galaxy, Centaurus A, provide the highest-resolution look at the long jets shooting from the galaxy’s supermassive black hole.

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

Black Holes

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.

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