Black Hole News

Distant Galaxy SPT 0346-52 Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

December 8, 2016

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SPT 0346-52 Distant Galaxy Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

Using several telescopes including Chandra, astronomers have shown that a galaxy in the early Universe called SPT0346-52 is undergoing an extraordinary burst of star formation. The absence of X-rays from Chandra shows that there is no actively growing, supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. This means that the rate amount of infrared […]

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UVES Instrument Views Fingerprint of the Early Universe

December 5, 2016

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ESO Views Fingerprint of the Early Universe

The UVES instrument shows the light from quasar HE0940-1050 after it has traveled through the intergalactic medium. The most massive galaxies in the Universe host supermassive black holes at their centers. These truly colossal black holes chew up surrounding material at astonishing rates, expelling huge amounts of radiation as they do so and glowing as […]

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NASA’s Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life, Cygnus X-3

November 28, 2016

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Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life

A newly published study reveals that the supernova explosion that formed either the black hole or neutron star in Cygnus X-3 kicked the binary system away from its original birthplace, estimating that Cygnus X-3 must have been thrown out at speeds between 400,000 and 2 million miles per hour. A snapshot of the stellar life […]

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NASA’s SOFIA Set To Study New Frontiers in the Solar System and Beyond

November 16, 2016

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SOFIA Observatory Expanding New Frontiers in the Solar System and Beyond

NASA’s SOFIA flying Observatory set to study planets, comets and asteroids orbiting other stars and supermassive black holes. NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, will soon be studying Neptune’s giant moon, Triton, and following-up on Hubble’s recent sighting of water plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa. According to recently completed plans for the 2017 observing […]

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Astronomers Explain Mysterious Dimming of Markarian 1018

November 10, 2016

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Markarian 1018 Black Hole Dims Brilliant Galaxy

By combining data from Chandra, VLT and several other telescopes, astronomers reveal that the dimming of Markarian 1018 arises from the black hole at the center being deprived of enough fuel to illuminate its surroundings. Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of […]

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Astronomers Discover a”Nearly Naked” Supermassive Black Hole

November 3, 2016

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Researchers Discover a Nearly Naked Supermassive Black Hole

Using the Very Long Baseline Array a team of astronomers has discovered the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed through a larger galaxy, leaving only the smaller galaxy’s nearly-naked supermassive black hole to emerge and speed away at more than 2,000 miles per second. The galaxies are part of a cluster of galaxies more […]

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Chandra Telescope Reveals Evidence for a “Wandering” Black Hole

October 5, 2016

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Telescopes Reveal Evidence for Wandering Black Hole

Astronomers have discovered a “wandering” black hole in the outer regions of a galaxy about 4.5 billion light years from Earth. Evidence suggests this newly discovered black hole has about 100,000 times the Sun’s mass, and was originally located in a smaller galaxy that merged with a larger one. Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray […]

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Researchers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of a Black Hole

September 20, 2016

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Astronomers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of the Central Black Hole

A team of researchers has measured the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1052. Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. A team of researchers […]

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Astronomers Solve the Mystery of a Rare Change in the Behavior of a Supermassive Black Hole

September 16, 2016

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ESO Views Active Galaxy Markarian 1018

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of astronomers has solved the mystery of a rare change in the behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. It seems that the black hole is no longer being fed enough fuel […]

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Astrophysicists Show Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

August 29, 2016

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New Study Shows Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that the center of the Milky Way was once a very active place. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is currently a quiet place where a supermassive black hole slumbers, only occasionally slurping small sips of hydrogen gas. But it wasn’t always this way. A […]

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NASA Telescopes Reveal a Surprising Blazar Connection

August 24, 2016

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A Surprising Blazar Connection Revealed

Using data from from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new […]

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Spitzer Provides Astronomers with a New Way to See the Milky Way’s Giant Black Hole

July 26, 2016

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Astronomers See the Milky Way's Giant Black Hole with New Eyes

Astronomers are using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to further explore Sagittarius A*. At the center of our Milky Way galaxy lies a cosmic beast called Sagittarius A*. This supermassive black hole packs about four million sun-masses into a volume roughly the size of our solar system. Recently, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope began exploring this exotic […]

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Chandra Reveals Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

July 15, 2016

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Astronomers Find Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

Using data from Chandra, astronomers have the strongest evidence to date that violent stellar mergers produce pencil-thin jets. This result has implications for estimating the number of such mergers that may detected with gravitational wave observatories. Gamma-ray bursts, or GRBs, are some of the most violent and energetic events in the Universe. Although these events […]

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Astronomers Prove the Existence of a “Gravitational Vortex” Around a Black Hole

July 13, 2016

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XMM-Newton Proves the Existence of a "Gravitational Vortex" Around a Black Hole

Using data from XMM-Newton and NuSTAR, astronomers have proved the existence of a “gravitational vortex” around a black hole. This new discovery, aided by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, solves a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years, and will allow them to map the behavior of matter very close […]

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Astronomers Discover Evidence of a ‘Direct-Collapse Black Hole’

July 6, 2016

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CR7 Provides Evidence for an Unusual Kind of Black Hole

A newly published study details evidence for a direct collapse black hole in the Lyman α source CR7. Astronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of The University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in […]

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Astronomers Measure the Intrinsic Shape of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

June 28, 2016

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Measuring the Shape of the Milky Way's Black Hole

A newly published study details how astronomers successfully measured the intrinsic shape of Sagittarius A* at 3.5-mm wavelength. At the heart of our galaxy’s center is Sgr A*, a supermassive black hole containing about four million solar-masses of material. Sgr A* is relatively faint, unlike the supermassive black holes in some other galaxies. This is […]

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Low-Mass Black Hole May Represent New Population

June 27, 2016

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Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population

By combining data from Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have identified the true nature of an unusual source in the Milky Way galaxy. This object contains a very quiet black hole, a few times the Sun’s mass, about 7,200 light years from Earth. This discovery implies that there could be many more black holes […]

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Astronomers Discover X-Ray Echoes from a Black Hole That Shattered a Passing Star

June 23, 2016

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X-ray Echoes of a Shredded Star Provide Close-up of Black Hole

Using data from the Swift Satellite, astronomers have identified the reflections of X-ray flares erupting from a star that was shattered by a black hole. Some 3.9 billion years ago in the heart of a distant galaxy, the intense tidal pull of a monster black hole shredded a star that passed too close. When X-rays […]

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