A Black Hole Consumed a Star and Released the Light of a Trillion Suns

When a flash of light appears somewhere in the sky, astronomers notice. When it appears in a region of the sky not known to host a stellar object that’s flashed before, they really sit up and take notice. In astronomical parlance, objects that emit flashing light are called transients. Earlier this year, astronomers spotted a … Read more

Black Friday Space Deals live blog: Telescopes, star projectors, Lego and more

Refresh 2022-11-23T15:55:14.183Z Save 21% on the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ telescope (Image credit: Jamie Carter) The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ refractor telescope is currently at a discount of over 20% which makes a perfect gift for beginner astronomers this Black Friday. It features a 70mm aperture and a powerful 900mm focal length that takes you in for … Read more

Did Supermassive Black Holes Collapse Directly out of Giant Clouds of gas? It Could Depend on Magnetic Fields

Roughly half a century ago, astronomers realized that the powerful radio source coming from the center of our galaxy (Sagitarrius A*) was a “monster” black hole. Since then, they have found that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside at the center of most massive galaxies. This leads to what is known as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) … Read more

Did Supermassive Black Holes Collapse Directly out of Giant Clouds of gas? It Could Depend on Magnetic Fields

Roughly half a century ago, astronomers realized that the powerful radio source coming from the center of our galaxy (Sagitarrius A*) was a “monster” black hole. Since then, they have found that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside at the center of most massive galaxies. This leads to what is known as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) … Read more

A Monster Black Hole has Been Found Right in our Backyard (Astronomically Speaking)

Black holes are among the most awesome and mysterious objects in the known universe. These gravitational behemoths form when massive stars undergo gravitational collapse at the end of their lifespans and shed their outer layers in a massive explosion (a supernova). Meanwhile, the stellar remnant becomes so dense that the curvature of spacetime becomes infinite … Read more

Shortly Before They Collided, two Black Holes Tangled Spacetime up Into Knots

In February 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first-ever detection of gravitational waves (GWs). Originally predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, these waves are ripples in spacetime that whenever massive objects (like black holes and neutron stars) merge. Since then, countless GW events have been detected by observatories across … Read more

Webb Sees Organic Molecules in the Hearts of Galaxies, Surprisingly Close to Active Supermassive Black Holes

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched, one of its jobs was studying galactic formation and evolution. When we look around the Universe, today’s galaxies take the shape of grand spirals like the Whirlpool galaxy and giant ellipticals like M60. But galaxies didn’t always look like this. We don’t see these shapes when we … Read more

A Black Hole Burps out Material, Years After Feasting on a Star

Originally predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, black holes are the most extreme object in the known universe. These objects form when stars reach the end of their life cycle, blow off their outer layers, and are so gravitationally powerful that nothing (not even light) can escape their surfaces. They are also of interest … Read more

Astronomers detect hot gas bubble swirling around the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

This shows a still image of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, as seen by the Event Horizon Collaboration (EHT), with an artist’s illustration indicating where the modeling of the ALMA data predicts the hot spot to be and its orbit around the black hole . Credit: EHT Collaboration, ESO/M. Kornmesser (Acknowledgment: M. Wielgus) Using … Read more