Monster black hole spews energy as regularly as Yellowstone’s ‘Old Faithful’

At the heart of a galaxy more than 570 million light-years away, energy flares into space so consistently that astrophysicists have dubbed the galaxy Old Faithful, like the famously predictable geyser in Yellowstone National Park. This is the first time such regular and frequent flares have been spotted emanating from a distant galaxy’s core. About […]

The most ancient supermassive black hole is bafflingly big

illustration of quasar J0313-1806

The most ancient black hole ever discovered is so big it defies explanation. This active supermassive black hole, or quasar, boasts a mass of 1.6 billion suns and lies at the heart of a galaxy more than 13 billion light-years from Earth. The quasar, dubbed J0313-1806, dates back to when the universe was just 670 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Earth faster, closer to black hole in new map of galaxy

Position and velocity map of the Milky Way Galaxy. Arrows show position and velocity data for the 224 objects used to model the Milky Way Galaxy. The solid black lines show the positions of the Galaxy’s spiral arms. The colors indicate groups of objects belonging the same arm. The background is a simulation image. Credit: […]

Losing Arecibo Observatory would create a hole that can’t be filled, scientists say

Editor’s note: The National Science Foundation will decommission Arecibo’s radio telescope, the agency announced on Nov. 19. Read the full story here. Arecibo Observatory is facing a mid-life crisis — or something much worse. In one possible future, the facility’s managers work quickly enough to stabilize a massive structure hanging by not-quite-enough-threads and give the […]

Final dance of unequal black hole partners

Color map of the curvature on the large black hole horizon generated by the near merging small black hole. Credit: Nicole Rosato Solving the equations of general relativity for colliding black holes is no simple matter. Physicists began using supercomputers to obtain solutions to this famously hard problem back in the 1960s. In 2000, with […]

Final dance of unequal black hole partners — ScienceDaily

Solving the equations of general relativity for colliding black holes is no simple matter. Physicists began using supercomputers to obtain solutions to this famously hard problem back in the 1960s. In 2000, with no solutions in sight, Kip Thorne, 2018 Nobel Laureate and one of the designers of LIGO, famously bet that there would be […]