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Black hole

Space

Supermassive black hole devours cold cloud clumps

Unless you are an astrophysicist, you'd likely think that a black hole isn't too fussy about the kind of material it devours. Light? Check. Hydrogen? Yum! But for years researchers have believed that supermassive black holes only subsisted on a diet of hot gas. New observations of a galaxy about a billion light years away though, show that cold, clumpy cosmic rain will do just fine to fill a black hole's gaping maw.Read More

Space

Can an Earth-sized telescope show us what a black hole looks like?

With a gravitational pull so great not even light can escape, it's impossible to directly observe a black hole. But scientists have created a new algorithm that may allow astronomers to generate the first full image of a black hole. Using data collected from a connected array of radio telescopes around the world, the algorithm effectively turns the Earth into a gigantic radio telescope with a resolution factor more than a thousand times greater than that of the Hubble Space Telescope.Read More

Space

Can primordial black holes fill in the dark matter blank?

For something that hasn't actually been found yet, there are a lot of theories around about dark matter and where this elusive stuff could be hiding. Now an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has weighed-in with a new idea that black holes created in the milliseconds after the Big Bang may be where all that missing matter ended up. Bizarrely, the hypothesis also suggests that all of the galaxies in the universe may be embedded in an ocean of millions of these black holes.Read More

Journey toward Milky Way's dark heart in new Hubble video

Do you have 37 seconds of time to spare today? If so, you can zip towards the very center of our galaxy thanks to a new video put out by the Hubble Space Telescope team. The video is really just a long zoom into an image released last month, but it definitely provides the sensation of heading through our galactic core to the black hole that lies at its center.Read More

Science

Fermi telescope helps close in on the origin of gravitational waves

Astrophysicists made history last year when they detected gravitational waves – the elusive ripples in space-time that were first theorized by Albert Einstein as part of his theory of general relativity in 1916. Early efforts failed to pinpoint the visible light component of the chaotic event that triggered the waves. But now data from NASA's Fermi telescope has reduced the search area by around two-thirds, which will help scientists understand more about the nature of the event and improve their systems for detecting future gravitational wave events. Read More

Space

Black hole weighing 17 billion suns found in "cosmic backwater"

Black holes are a bit like celebrities — the larger they are, the more activity they have swirling about them. It came as some surprise then, when two NASA telescopes spied a supermassive black hole in a relatively quiet neighborhood of the universe. The gravity gobbler has the weight of 18 billion of our suns and is found in a giant elliptical galaxy that should have a much more impressive bulge of stars near its center for a black hole of that size.Read More

Physics

Fifth-dimensional black hole could cause general relativity to break down

We like to think of the physical universe as being governed by immutable laws, but maybe they're not quite as concrete as we imagine. A team of physicists at the University of Cambridge have run computer simulations that show that a five-dimensional, ring-shaped black hole could violate Einstein's general theory of relativity by creating a naked singularity, which would result in the equations behind the theory breaking down.Read More

Science

Visible light search for gravitational waves black hole merger comes up empty

Last week an international team of scientists announced that they had made history by directly detecting gravitational waves. In light of those findings, a second team has attempted to detect the burst of visible light given off by the source of the waves – two merging black holes. The results were disappointing, but could help future attempts at imaging the source of gravitational waves.Read More

Space

ESO's GRAVITY instrument achieves first light

Astronomers have achieved first light with a powerful instrument that will allow scientists to probe the environments surrounding black holes. The GRAVITY instrument is in the process of being installed in the tunnels below the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) located at the Paranal Observatory, Chile.Read More

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