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A brief history of black holes

A brief history of black holes Cepheia/Shutterstock.com Carla Rodrigues Almeida, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Late in 2018, the gravitational wave observatory, LIGO, announced that they had detected the most distant and massive source of ripples of spacetime ever monitored: waves triggered by pairs of black holes…

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The region around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, imaged with South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope. South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

How we’re probing the secrets of a giant black hole at our galaxy’s centre

How we’re probing the secrets of a giant black hole at our galaxy’s centre The region around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, imaged with South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope. South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) Imogen Whittam, University of the Western Cape Supermassive black holes…

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An artist’s impression of the path of star S2 as it passes very close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. The very strong gravitational field causes the colour of the star to shift slightly to the red. (Size and colour exaggerated for clarity.) ESO/M. Kornmesser, CC BY

Einstein’s theory of gravity tested by a star speeding past a supermassive black hole

Einstein’s theory of gravity tested by a star speeding past a supermassive black hole An artist’s impression of the path of star S2 as it passes very close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. The very strong gravitational field causes the colour of the…

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Pantheism and how it could offer a new approach to preserving the planet

Pantheism and how it could offer a new approach to preserving the planet Shutterstock Tim Lomas, University of East London The scientists responsible for the “doomsday clock” moved it 30 seconds closer to midnight – the symbolic point of total catastrophe for humanity and the planet – at the beginning…

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Triple star system involving a pulsar suggests Einstein was right. Kevin Gill/Flickr, CC BY-ND

Free-falling dead stars show that a cornerstone of physics holds up

Free-falling dead stars show that a cornerstone of physics holds up Triple star system involving a pulsar suggests Einstein was right. Kevin Gill/Flickr, CC BY-ND James Geach, University of Hertfordshire It may not be intuitive, but drop a hammer and a feather and – in the absence of air resistance…

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An illustration of the two 20-micrometre-wide vibrating drumheads, each composed of trillions of atoms, in an entangled quantum state of motion. Petja Hyttinen and Olli Hanhirova, ARKH Architects Ltd., Author provided

Experiment shows Einstein’s quantum ‘spooky action’ approaches the human scale

Experiment shows Einstein’s quantum ‘spooky action’ approaches the human scale An illustration of the two 20-micrometre-wide vibrating drumheads, each composed of trillions of atoms, in an entangled quantum state of motion. Petja Hyttinen and Olli Hanhirova, ARKH Architects Ltd., Author provided Matt Woolley, UNSW Quantum physics is often defined as…

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Stephen Hawking. Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Hawking had pinned his hopes on ‘M-theory’ to fully explain the universe – here’s what it is

Hawking had pinned his hopes on ‘M-theory’ to fully explain the universe – here’s what it is Stephen Hawking. Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr, CC BY-SA Lorenzo Bianchi, Queen Mary University of London Rumour has it that Albert Einstein spent his last few hours on Earth scribbling something on a piece of paper…

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Black hole collision and merger releasing gravitational waves. by LIGO

Gravitational waves are helping us crack the mystery of how pairs of black holes form

Gravitational waves are helping us crack the mystery of how pairs of black holes form Black hole collision and merger releasing gravitational waves. Ilya Mandel, University of Birmingham A tiny disturbance in space became an enormous scientific discovery when LIGO amazingly managed to register it early on the morning of…

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NASA/Hinode/XRT

When the sun goes dark: 5 questions answered about the solar eclipse

When the sun goes dark: 5 questions answered about the solar eclipse NASA’s projection of the August 21 solar eclipse. NASA Shannon Schmoll, Michigan State University Editor’s note: A total solar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. on Monday, August 21. Shannon Schmoll, director of the Abrams Planetarium at…

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Map of dark matter made from gravitational lensing measurements of 26 million galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey. The map covers about 1/30th of the entire sky and spans several billion light years in extent. Red regions have more dark matter than average, blue regions less dark matter. Credits: Chihway Chang/Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago/DES Collaboration

New Clues to Universe’s Structure Revealed

New Clues to Universe’s Structure Revealed What is our universe made of, and has its composition changed over time? Scientists have new insights about these fundamental questions, thanks to an international collaboration of more than 400 scientists called the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Three scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory…

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Credit: Josh Valenzuela/UNM Artist's conception shows two supermassive black holes, similar to those observed by UNM researchers, orbiting one another more than 750 million light years from Earth.

Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes

Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes For the first time ever, astronomers at The University of New Mexico say they’ve been able to observe and measure the orbital motion between two supermassive black holes hundreds of millions of light years from Earth – a discovery more than…

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Simulated universe: EAGLE collaboration, J Schaye et al 2015. MNRAS, CC BY-SA

Can we ditch dark energy by better understanding general relativity?

Can we ditch dark energy by better understanding general relativity? Simulated universe: EAGLE collaboration, J Schaye et al 2015. MNRAS, CC BY-SA David Wiltshire and Alan Coley, Dalhousie University A renewed suggestion that dark energy may not be real — dispensing with 70% of the stuff in the universe —…

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Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes

Physicists use Einstein’s ‘spooky’ entanglement to invent super-sensitive gravitational wave detector

Physicists use Einstein’s ‘spooky’ entanglement to invent super-sensitive gravitational wave detector When black holes collide, gravitational waves are created in space itself (image is a computer simulation). The SXS (Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes) Project David Blair, University of Western Australia The first direct detection of gravitational waves, a phenomenon predicted by…

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