Articles about black hole

NASA image of the covert black hole

Mystery black hole hides by curbing its appetite

A well-known radio source has turned out not to be the galaxy it's been classified as for 20 years, but a surprisingly quiet black hole. The discovery is causing a bit of buzz among astrophysicists because it suggests there could be thousands or millions more “covert” black holes out there waiting to be discovered. It took …
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Supermassive black hole devours star and becomes X-ray flashlight

Astronomers have identified a sleeping black hole that sprung back to life – after trapping a nearby star to be later consumed – due to the curved space-time around it firing X-rays into space, according to research published today in Nature. Black holes have a strong gravitational pull on any nearby objects, and if anything …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jun 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Laser probers sniff more gravitational waves from mega black hole smash

An international team of physicists has announced that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected gravitational waves from a second pair of colliding black holes. The genius of Einstein At the start of the year, the scientific community was buzzing with excitement after rumours started …
Katyanna Quach, 16 Jun 2016
Black hole

Cold space gas? Sure, supermassive black holes can eat that. Nom, nom, nom

Astronomers working at the Atacama Large Millimetre Array radio telescope in Chile have observed black holes swallowing up cold dense clouds for the first time, according to new research published today in Nature. Although the idea of black holes feeding on cold gas was theoretically predicted it has never been observed, …
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

One black hole, three galaxies, four BEELION solar masses – found by accident

Astro-boffins commissioning part of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) array have incidentally spotted a monster 3.8-billion-solar-masses black hole created in a three-way galactic collision. In a paper accepted for publication at the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the CSIRO boffins, …
Black holes merging

Hubble spies supermassive black hole in surprising spot

Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a huge black hole with 17 billion times the mass of our sun residing in an otherwise nearly empty backwater of the universe. Supermassive black holes are typically found at the center of busy crowded galaxies, but this example was found in the sparsely populated …
Iain Thomson, 6 Apr 2016
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

What would happen if Earth fell into a black hole?

Black holes have long been a source of much excitement and intrigue. And interest regarding black holes will surely grow now that gravitational waves have been discovered. Many of the questions I am asked regard how “true” science fiction concerning black holes might be, and whether worm holes, such as those featured in …
Screen grab of V404 Cygni

Black hole shows off glow-in-the-dark ring after sucking in matter

Video The next time astro-boffins announce a burst of activity in V404 Cygni, grab a telescope, head somewhere dark, look at Cygnus, and you could get a treat. V404 Cygni's proximity to us (7,800 light years) makes it one of the cosmos' best-studied black holes, and what's got the Japanese researchers excited is that it sometimes …
Black hole

Mysterious cosmic dustball fires up Milky Way's black hole

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy has become a lot more active in the last year, and now the scientists think they've worked out why. The black hole, dubbed Sagittarius A*, has been monitored by space telescopes for the last 15 years. It usually emits a bright X-ray flare – generated about every ten days …
Iain Thomson, 24 Sep 2015

Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

Professor Stephen Hawking thinks he has solved the 40-year-old information paradox – a conundrum of what happens to matter in black holes. Matter that gets sucked into a black hole was thought to be destroyed by the immense forces involved, as per the theory of general relativity. However, that's a problem from a quantum …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2015
Galaxy RGG 118

Put it away: Dwarf's 'supermassive' marvel is actually smallest thing boffins have ever seen

At the heart of every large galaxy resides a supermassive black hole, and astroboffins have found the smallest one yet – about 340 million light years away. "In a sense, it's a teeny supermassive black hole," said Elena Gallo, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2015
Black hole

GIGANTIC galaxy-chomping black hole rips boffins a new one

A team of astroboffins from ETH Zurich's Institute for Astronomy have discovered an enormous black hole that shouldn't exist. The black hole is one of the largest ever recorded, the equivalent of about seven billion the mass of our Sun. It resides in the heart of galaxy CID-947, which is around 11 billion light years away, …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2015
Simulated computer display of a particle collision in the large hadron collider (LHC) - image by CERN/Science photo library

Sorry, say boffins, the LHC still hasn't sucked us into a black hole

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has still failed to produce microscopic black holes, according to a new analysis of data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration. The idea, beloved of theoretical physicists, lawyers, and cranks others, is that collisions even down to the Tera-electron-volt (TeV) scale could produce …


Astro-boffins have detailed a "monstrous" galaxy near the edge of the charted universe, and have done so to an unprecedented degree of detail using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), with the assistance of a natural telescopic phenomenon known as a gravitational lens. According to the National Institutes …
Quasar 3C 273

Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find

Baffled astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii are scratching their heads after finding a group of four quasars, a gathering that current cosmological thinking rates as a ten million-to-one chance of occurring. quasars Four into one shouldn't go "If you discover something which, according to current scientific …
Iain Thomson, 15 May 2015
Superluminous quasar J0100+2802

COSMIC FATTY from the DAWN of TIME simply can't exist – astroboffins

Researchers from Australia and China have turned up an unfeasibly large black hole that almost dates back to the beginning of time. At 12 billion times the Sun's mass, and in a quasar that was a million billion times as energetic as the Sun, it's not actually the largest black hole ever spotted. However, its redshift indicates …
Alien world view in Interstellar

How Hollywood film-makers wove proper physics into Interstellar

Vid Youtube Video Having a theoretical physicist attached to a Hollywood sci-fi film proved to be a pretty slick move for Interstellar director Christopher Nolan, who worked with Kip Thorne from the start of the project. "What the algorithms gave us was extremely spectacular," Nolan explained in this short, neat vid about the …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Nov 2014
Interstellar movie black hole special effects

Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar

Vid Youtube Video Ahead of the release of Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated space movie Interstellar, the film-makers reveal how theoretical physicist Kip Thorne helped them to create scientifically accurate special effects for a black hole. It’s a pretty clever piece of marketing for the movie, which has relied on the …

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