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Black hole

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

Space

Astronomers spot enormous twin stars heading for a cataclysmic end

Using the ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a pair of enormous stars, known as an overcontact binary system, that orbit so close to each other that a bridge of stellar material has formed. Scientists predict that at some point, the strange partnership will end in spectacular fashion, with the stellar bodies either merging to create a single titanic star, or in a violent supernova, that would birth a binary black hole system.Read More

Space

New study finds common link between young stars and black holes

A research project led by the University of Leicester in the UK has identified similarities in the readings from the discs surrounding black holes and young stars, even though the objects have wildly different properties. The discovery was made by studying the brightness variations produced by accretion discs around various astronomical objects. These huge discs of matter play a central part in the growth of most objects in the Universe, providing a common ground for study. Read More

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