A giant black hole keeps evading detection and scientists can’t explain it

An enormous black hole keeps slipping through astronomers’ nets. Supermassive black holes are thought to lurk at the hearts of most, if not all, galaxies. Our own Milky Way has one as massive as 4 million suns, for example, and M87’s — the only black hole ever imaged directly — tips the scales at a […]

10 huge black hole findings from 2020

Physicists are currently in a golden age of new knowledge about black holes. Since 2015, researchers have been able to get signals directly from merging black holes using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), while observatories like the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have produced the first image of a black hole’s shadow. This year was […]

Primordial black holes and the search for dark matter from the multiverse

Fig1. Baby universes branching off of our universe shortly after the Big Bang appear to us as black holes. (Credit:Kavli IPMU) The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) is home to many interdisciplinary projects which benefit from the synergy of a wide range of expertise available at the institute. […]

Discovery of chemical clue may lead to solving cacao’s black pod rot mystery

IMAGE: The researchers have created a streamlined sample-collection protocol that only requires a single leaf disc. The leaf discs are preserved in a solvent that prevents degradation of clovamide, allowing large-scale… view more  Credit: Ben Knollenberg/Penn State The finding of relatively high levels of the antimicrobial compound clovamide in the leaves of a disease-resistant strain of […]

Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is closer to Earth than we thought

The supermassive black hole hiding in the center of our galaxy is much closer to Earth, about 2,000 light-years closer, than scientists thought, according to new research out of Japan.  Not only that but our solar system is moving faster than thought as it orbits this galactic center.  All this doesn’t mean you need to […]

Meet 5 Black researchers fighting for diversity and equity in science

As the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum this year, Black scientists jumped in to call for inclusivity at school and work. Within days of the news that a Black bird watcher, Christian Cooper, had been harassed in New York City’s Central Park, the social media campaign #BlackBirdersWeek was launched (SN Online: 6/4/20), followed closely […]

These 6 graphs show that Black scientists are underrepresented at every level

Nationwide protests in response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other unarmed Black men and women in the first part of 2020 inspired calls to action within academia’s ivory tower. Social media movements such as #BlackInSTEM brought attention to discrimination faced by Black students and professionals throughout the science, technology, engineering […]

Milky Way’s central black hole may have zapped nearby red giant stars

Innumerable stars reside within 1.6 light-years of the Milky Way’s central black hole. But this same crowded neighborhood has fewer red giants — luminous stars that are large and cool — than expected. Now astrophysicists have a new theory why: The supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, launched a powerful jet of gas that ripped off […]