Recently in the Black Holes Category


Pointing the Very Large Array (VLA) at a famous galaxy for the first time in two decades, a team of astronomers got a big surprise, finding that a bright new object had appeared near the galaxy's core.

Supermassive holes are generally stationary objects, sitting at the centers of most galaxies. However, using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers recently hunted down what could be a supermassive black hole that may be on the move.

Black holes get a bad rap in popular culture for swallowing everything in their environments. In reality, stars, gas and dust can orbit black holes for long periods of time, until a major disruption pushes the material in.

Seeing Black Holes and Beyond

A powerful new array of radio telescopes is being deployed for the first time this week, as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile joins a global network of antennas poised to make some of the highest resolution images that astronomers have ever obtained.

Observations in the past decade have demonstrated that extremely massive supermassive black holes were already in place when the Universe was less than 800 million years old.

Astronomers have found evidence for a star that whips around a black hole about twice an hour. This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a black hole and a companion star.

A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade, according to research led by the University of New Hampshire.

The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307, a galaxy in the Virgo constellation imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and it presents an interesting puzzle.

Every few thousand years, an unlucky star wanders too close to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole's powerful gravity rips the star apart, sending a long streamer of gas whipping outward.

Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes.

An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen.

Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.

Astronomers using the super-sharp radio vision of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) have found the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed through a larger galaxy.

Supermassive black holes more than a million times the mass of our sun exist at the centers of many galaxies, but how they came to be is unclear.

Black Hole Hidden Within Its Own Exhaust

Supermassive black holes, millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun, are found at the centers of galaxies.

Black Holes Sing in X-Rays

Supermassive black holes in the universe are like a raucous choir singing in the language of X-rays

The European Space Agency's orbiting X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has proved the existence of a "gravitational vortex" around a black hole.

Rochester Institute of Technology professors have developed a faster, more accurate way to assess gravitational wave signals and infer the astronomical sources that made them.

Scientists led by Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology ran the huge cosmological simulations that can be used to predict the rate at which gravitational waves caused by collisions between the monster black holes might be detected.

New calculations predict that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) will detect approximately 1,000 mergers of massive black holes annually once it achieves full sensitivity early next decade.

Roughly 90 percent of the biggest black holes in the known universe are dormant, meaning that they are not actively devouring matter and, consequently, not giving off any light or other radiation.

On December 26, 2015, at 03:38:53 UTC, scientists observed gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime -- for the second time.

In a new study to be published June 9, 2016 in the journal Nature, a Yale-led team of astronomers found a supermassive black hole about to devour clouds of cold, clumpy gas hurtling toward it.

New Einstein Ring Discovered

This unusual phenomenon, predicted by the theory of General Relativity, was discovered by chance by a doctoral student at the while analysing images of the Sculptor dwarf galaxy

Scientists have uncovered a new class of galaxies with supermassive black hole winds that are energetic enough to suppress future star formation.

Using data from NASA's Great Observatories, astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.

An international team of astrophysicists, including Professor Phil Charles from the University of Southampton, have detected an intense wind from one of the closest known black holes to the Earth.

Findings by Rutgers and other scientists could help shed light on how galaxies and their supermassive black holes form.

Astronomers have uncovered a near-record-breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe.

Last February a team of astronomers reported detecting an afterglow from a mysterious event called a fast radio burst, which would pinpoint the precise position of the burst's origin, a longstanding goal in studies of these mysterious events.

New research led by astrophysicists at York University has revealed the fastest winds ever seen at ultraviolet wavelengths near a supermassive black hole.

After completing a long series of tests on the spacecraft and payload, the ESA mission LISA Pathfinder has started its science mission.

The placid appearance of NGC 4889 can fool the unsuspecting observer.

The Star Wars franchise has featured the fictitious "Death Star," which can shoot powerful beams of radiation across space. The universe, however, produces phenomena that often surpass what science fiction can conjure.

A team of astronomers led by Tomoharu Oka, a professor at Keio University in Japan, has found an enigmatic gas cloud, called CO-0.40-0.22, only 200 light years away from the center of the Milky Way.

First Light for Future Black Hole Probe

Zooming in on black holes is the main mission for the newly installed instrument GRAVITY at ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile.

A team of researchers led by Eric Schlegel, Vaughn Family Endowed Professor in Physics at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has discovered a powerful galactic blast produced by a giant black hole about 26 million light years from Earth.

Most people think of black holes as giant vacuum cleaners sucking in everything that gets too close.

The baffling and strange behaviors of black holes have become somewhat less mysterious recently, with new observations from NASA's Explorer missions Swift and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR.

When a star comes too close to a black hole, the intense gravity of the black hole results in tidal forces that can rip the star apart.

Astronomers have discovered a previously unknown link between the way young stars grow and the way black holes and other exotic space objects feed from their surroundings.

Three orbiting X-ray space telescopes have detected an increased rate of X-ray flares from the usually quiet giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy after new long-term monitoring.

Entangled by gravity and destined to merge, two candidate black holes in a distant galaxy appear to be locked in an intricate dance.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that Markarian 231 (Mrk 231), the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, is powered by two central black holes furiously whirling about each other.

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope in Chile have identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the center of a galaxy.

A super-dense star formed in the aftermath of a supernova explosion is shooting out powerful jets of material into space, research suggests.

Five billion years ago, a great disturbance rocked a region near the monster black hole at the center of galaxy 3C 279.

Turbulent processes take place close to supermassive black holes, which lurk in the centres of nearly all galaxies.

A NASA satellite controlled by Penn State University has detected a brief, super-bright, high-energy flare -- an X-ray nova -- erupting from a star system 8,000 light-years away from Earth named V404 Cygni.

Using the Subaru Telescope, researchers at the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Russia and Kyoto University in Japan have found evidence that enigmatic objects in nearby galaxies - called ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) - exhibit strong outflows that are created as matter falls onto their black holes at unexpectedly high rates.

At the time, the astronomers also looked back at archival data from optical telescopes over the twentieth century, finding two previous outbursts, one in 1938 and another one in 1956.

A new computer simulation tracking dark matter particles in the extreme gravity of a black hole shows that strong, potentially observable gamma-ray light can be produced.

Supermassive black holes lurk at the center of every large galaxy. These cosmic behemoths can be millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun.

When you're blasting though space at more than 98 percent of the speed of light, you may need driver's insurance.

In 2013, astronomers announced they had discovered a magnetar exceptionally close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way using a suite of space-borne telescopes including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Dartmouth astrophysicists and their colleagues have not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn't supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy.

Shred a document, and you can piece it back together. Burn a book, and you could theoretically do the same. But send information into a black hole, and it's lost forever.

A supermassive black hole with a mass four million times that of the Sun lies at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.

By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite and the European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory, scientists have connected a fierce "wind" produced near a galaxy's monster black hole to an outward torrent of cold gas a thousand light-years across.

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered regions where certain organic molecules somehow endure the intense radiation near the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1068, also known to amateur stargazers as M77.

Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time.

NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions -- a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now.

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star.

A new high-energy X-ray image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has pinpointed the true monster of a galactic mashup. The image shows two colliding galaxies, collectively called Arp 299, located 134 million light-years away. Each of the galaxies has a supermassive black hole at its heart.

High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy's star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones.

Pulsars are very dense neutron stars that are the size of a city (their radius approaches ten kilometers), which, like lighthouses for the universe, emit gamma radiation beams or X-rays when they rotate up to hundreds of times per second.

An international team of researchers analyzing decades of observations from many facilities -- including the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Haleakala and NASA's Swift satellite -- has discovered what appears to be a black hole booted from it's host galaxy.

The giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way may be producing mysterious particles called neutrinos.

An international group of researchers with the participation of the Astronomic Observatory of the Universitat de València has discovered the first lightning bolts from a black hole by eruption with the strongest brightness variations in an extragalactic object ever observed.

Astronomers at the University of Sydney are part of a team that has taken images of the thermonuclear fireball from a 'nova star' for the first time tracking the explosion as it expands.

Big Black Holes Can Block New Stars

Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.

Astronomers have discovered a black hole that is consuming gas from a nearby star 10 times faster than previously thought possible.

Astronomers have found a pulsating, dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. This is the brightest pulsar - a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion - ever recorded.

Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place -- a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.