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Artist’s impression of quasar W2246-0526. NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), CC BY-SA

Here’s how the ‘brightest’ object in the universe formed

Here’s how the ‘brightest’ object in the universe formed Artist’s impression of quasar W2246-0526. NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), CC BY-SA Andrew Blain, University of Leicester Active galaxies are some of the most luminous and impressive objects in the sky. They tend to be massive, distant and emit…

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Visible light image of the radio galaxy Hercules A obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope superposed with a radio image taken by the Very Large Array of radio telescopes in New Mexico, USA. NASA

We’ve spotted signs of mergers that may finally help us prove that supermassive black holes exist

We’ve spotted signs of mergers that may finally help us prove that supermassive black holes exist Visible light image of the radio galaxy Hercules A obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope superposed with a radio image taken by the Very Large Array of radio telescopes in New Mexico, USA. NASA…

View More We’ve spotted signs of mergers that may finally help us prove that supermassive black holes exist

a frozen version of black hole merger simulation Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

New Simulation Sheds Light on Spiraling Supermassive Black Holes

New Simulation Sheds Light on Spiraling Supermassive Black Holes A new model is bringing scientists a step closer to understanding the kinds of light signals produced when two supermassive black holes, which are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, spiral toward a collision. For the first…

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The COSMOS Legacy Survey shows data that have provided evidence for the existence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ICE/M.Mezcua et al.; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Illustration: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes Scientists have taken major steps in their hunt to find black holes that are neither very small nor extremely large. Finding these elusive intermediate-mass black holes could help astronomers better understand what the “seeds” for the largest black holes in the early Universe…

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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…

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

Artist’s impression based on real picture of Icecube lab. IceCube/NSF

Scientists discover a new source of neutrinos in space – opening up another window into the universe

Scientists discover a new source of neutrinos in space – opening up another window into the universe Artist’s impression based on real picture of Icecube lab. IceCube/NSF Simon Peeters, University of Sussex Neutrinos – extremely light, ghostly particles that barely interact with matter – have so far only been observed…

View More Scientists discover a new source of neutrinos in space – opening up another window into the universe

Artist conception of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole. Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF., Author provided

Astronomers watch as black hole drags an exploding star to its death

Astronomers watch as black hole drags an exploding star to its death Artist conception of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole. Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF., Author provided  Robert Beswick, University of Manchester Astronomers searching for supernova explosions accidentally stumbled…

View More Astronomers watch as black hole drags an exploding star to its death

X-ray “heartbeats” of two different black holes that ingest gas from their companion stars. GRS 1915 has nearly five times the mass of IGR J17091, which at three solar masses may be the smallest black hole known. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Leaves Scientific ‘Treasure Trove’

NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Leaves Scientific ‘Treasure Trove’ NASA’s decommissioned Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on April 30. Orbiting for more than 22 years, the 6,700-pound satellite operated from 1996 to 2012, providing scientists with an unprecedented look into the extreme environments around neutron stars…

View More NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Leaves Scientific ‘Treasure Trove’

The Milky Way seen in infrared. NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)

Astronomers may have just discovered a dozen black holes in the centre of our galaxy

Astronomers may have just discovered a dozen black holes in the centre of our galaxy The Milky Way seen in infrared. NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) Phil Charles, University of Southampton Astronomers first noticed an enigmatic object, dubbed “Sagittarius A*”, at the very heart of our Milky Way galaxy in the 1960s…

View More Astronomers may have just discovered a dozen black holes in the centre of our galaxy

Jets from Centaurus A. ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray, CC BY-SA

How we discovered the strange physics of jets from supermassive black holes

How we discovered the strange physics of jets from supermassive black holes Jets from Centaurus A. ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray, CC BY-SA  Konstantinos N. Gourgouliatos, Durham University Supermassive black holes, which lurk at the heart of most galaxies, are often described as “beasts” or…

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An artist’s impression of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Sizes matters for black hole formation, but there’s something missing in the middle ground

Sizes matters for black hole formation, but there’s something missing in the middle ground An artist’s impression of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy. NASA/JPL-Caltech Holger Baumgardt, The University of Queensland and Michael Drinkwater, The University of Queensland So far, all black holes discovered by astronomers…

View More Sizes matters for black hole formation, but there’s something missing in the middle ground

In this graphic an image from the Chandra Deep Field-South is shown. The Chandra image (blue) is the deepest ever obtained in X-rays. It has been combined with an optical and infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), colored red, green, and blue. Each Chandra source is produced by hot gas falling towards a supermassive black hole in the center of the host galaxy, as depicted in the artist’s illustration. Credits: NASA/CXC/Penn. State/G. Yang et al and NASA/CXC/ICE/M. Mezcua et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Illustration: NASA/CXC/A. Jubett

Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their Galaxies

Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their Galaxies The biggest black holes in the Universe are growing faster than the rate of stars being formed in their galaxies, according to two new studies using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. Over many years, astronomers have gathered data on…

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NASA/CXC/SAO

Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping – Twice

Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping – Twice Using data from several telescopes including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole snacking on gas and then “burping” — not once but twice, as described in our latest press release. This graphic shows the galaxy, called SDSS…

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Black hole Cygnus X. NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Rare glimpse of a black hole’s magnetic field could help us to understand how it feeds

Rare glimpse of a black hole’s magnetic field could help us to understand how it feeds Black hole Cygnus X. NASA/CXC/M.Weiss Carole Mundell, University of Bath Encountering a black hole would be a frightening prospect for our planet. We know that these cosmic monsters ferociously devour any object that strays…

View More Rare glimpse of a black hole’s magnetic field could help us to understand how it feeds
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