Recently in the Black Holes Category

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.

Astronomers from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare breed of black hole in archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has captured an extreme and rare event in the regions immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole.

At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies - quasars - feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop.

Astronomers studying two classes of black-hole-powered galaxies monitored by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have found evidence that they represent different sides of the same cosmic coin.

A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects.

Where in powerful jets of distant active galaxies -- the mightiest and most energetic objects known -- are the violent outbursts of high energy gamma-ray emission produced?

This supercomputer simulation shows one of the most violent events in the universe: a pair of neutron stars colliding, merging and forming a black hole.

For the first time an international team of astronomers has measured circular polarization in the bright flash of light from a dying star collapsing to a black hole, giving insight into an event that happened almost 11 billion years ago.

A Dance of Black Holes

A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been discovered by an international research team including Stefanie Komossa from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.

Somewhere out in the cosmos an ordinary galaxy spins, seemingly at slumber. Then all of a sudden, WHAM! A flash of light explodes from the galaxy's center.

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's (ESA's) XMM-Newton to show a supermassive black hole six billion light years from Earth is spinning extremely rapidly.

A team of astronomers has conducted infrared observations of luminous, gas-rich, merging galaxies with the Subaru Telescope to study active, mass-accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs).

Astronomers have spotted what appear to be two supermassive black holes at the heart of a remote galaxy, circling each other like dance partners.

Smaller Black Holes Can Eat Plenty

Observations of a black hole powering an energetic X-ray source in a galaxy some 22 million light-years away could change our thinking about how some black holes consume matter.

Black Holes Don't Make a Big Splash

Throughout our universe, tucked inside galaxies far, far away, giant black holes are pairing up and merging. As the massive bodies dance around each other in close embraces, they send out gravitational waves that ripple space and time themselves, even as the waves pass right through our planet Earth.

X-ray Images of Sagittarius A*

Researchers have found evidence that the normally dim region very close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy flared up with at least two bright outbursts in the past few hundred years.

Galaxies may look pretty and delicate, with their swirls of stars of many colours - but don't be fooled. At the heart of every galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, including in our own Milky Way.

A paper in today's issue of the journal Science [18 October] pits the front-running ideas about the growth of supermassive black holes against observational data -- a limit on the strength of gravitational waves from pairs of black holes, obtained with CSIRO's 64-m (210-ft) Parkes radio telescope in eastern Australia.

Two international teams of astronomers have used the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to focus on jets from the huge black holes at the centres of galaxies and observe how they affect their surroundings. They have respectively obtained the best view yet of the molecular gas around a nearby, quiet black hole and caught an unexpected glimpse of the base of a powerful jet close to a distant black hole.

Dating Our Galaxy's Dormant Volcano

A dormant volcano -- a supermassive black hole -- lies at the heart of our galaxy. Fresh evidence suggests that it last erupted two million years ago. Astronomers have long suspected such an outburst occurred, but this is the first time they've been able to date it.

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have taken a major step in explaining why material around the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is extraordinarily faint in X-rays. This discovery holds important implications for understanding black holes.

Astronomers have discovered a magnetar at the centre of our Milky Way. A magnetar is a type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field.

A Dartmouth-led team of astrophysicists has discovered the extent to which quasars and their black holes can influence their galaxies.

A Black Hole's Dusty Surprise

Over the last twenty years, astronomers have found that almost all galaxies have a huge black hole at their centre.

A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and the Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light.

Birth of a Black Hole

When a massive star exhausts its fuel, it collapses under its own gravity and produces a black hole, an object so dense that not even light can escape its gravitational grip.

Two X-ray space observatories, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton, have teamed up to measure definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our Sun.

Biggest Black Hole Blast Discovered

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have discovered a quasar with the most energetic outflow ever seen, at least five times more powerful than any that have been observed to date.

Using a brand-new radio telescope, astronomers have produced one of the best images ever made at the lowest frequencies of giant bubbles produced by a super-massive black hole.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have obtained a remarkable new view of a whopper of an elliptical galaxy that may have been puffed up by the actions of one or more black holes in its core.

Peering to the Edge of a Black Hole

Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. For the first time, they have measured the black hole's "point of no return" - the closest distance that matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission has led to a bonanza of newfound supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered an extraordinary outburst by a black hole in the spiral galaxy M83, located about 15 million light years from Earth.

This computer-simulated image shows gas from a star that is ripped apart by tidal forces as it falls into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Using observations from telescopes in space and on the ground, astronomers gathered the most direct evidence yet for this violent process: a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close.

NuSTAR Black Hole Seeker Lifts Off

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched into the morning skies over the central Pacific Ocean at 9:00:35 a.m. PDT (12:00:35 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, beginning its mission to unveil secrets of buried black holes and other exotic objects.

Astronomers have found strong evidence that a massive black hole is being ejected from its host galaxy at a speed of several million miles per hour. New observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that the black hole collided and merged with another black hole and received a powerful recoil kick from gravitational wave radiation.

As galaxies go, our Milky Way is pretty quiet. Active galaxies have cores that glow brightly, powered by supermassive black holes swallowing material, and often spit twin jets in opposite directions.