Black Hole News

Rare Quasar Quartet Reveals Massive Structure in Distant Universe

May 22, 2015

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Quasar Quartet Reveals Rare Massive Structure in Distant Universe

Astronomers have discovered four active black holes situated in close proximity to one another in the distant universe, surrounded by a giant nebula of cool dense gas. Using the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii, a group of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered the first quadruple quasar: […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – Tangled NGC 6240

May 18, 2015

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Hubble Revisits Galaxy NGC 6240

First viewed in 2008, this Hubble image shows galaxy NGC 6240. Not all galaxies are neatly shaped, as this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 6240 clearly demonstrates. Hubble previously released an image of this galaxy back in 2008, but the knotted region, shown here in a pinky-red hue at the center of […]

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Chandra Reveals Black Holes Gorging at Excessive Rates

May 1, 2015

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Data Show Black Holes Gorging at Excessive Rates

New research from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals the existence of a population of black holes that is consuming extremely large amounts of material, possibly allowing the black holes in these quasars to grow at an extraordinarily rapid rate. Astronomers have studied 51 quasars with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and found they may represent an […]

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NuSTAR Spots Mysterious Glow of High-Energy X-Rays at Our Galaxy Center

April 30, 2015

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NuSTAR Sees Mysterious Glow of High-Energy X-Rays

NASA’s NuSTAR has spotted a mysterious glow of high-energy X-rays at the center of our Galaxy. Astronomers aren’t sure what the sources of the extra X-rays are, but one possibility is a population of dead stars. Peering into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has spotted a mysterious […]

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Nearby Star-Forming Galaxies Can Form Massive Black Holes

April 27, 2015

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Black Hole Hunters Tackle a Cosmic Conundrum

New research shows that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn’t supposed to be, opening a new door to understanding what things were like as the universe evolved and grew in the depths of time. Supermassive black holes, the mysterious monsters that sit at the center of galaxies—the Milky Way included—were […]

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Black Hole ‘Wind’ Influences Evolution of Its Host Galaxy

March 26, 2015

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Astronomers Link Black-Hole Wind to a Galactic Gush of Star-Forming Gas

A newly published study is the first to directly connect a galaxy’s actively ‘feeding’ black hole to features found at much larger physical scales, revealing that it’s responsible for blowing star-forming gas out of the galaxy’s central regions. By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite and the European Space Agency’s infrared Herschel Space […]

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Unusual Form of Cosmic Precipitation Can Affect the Growth and Evolution of Galaxies

March 5, 2015

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Cosmic Showers Halt Galaxy Growth

New research based on x-ray data from Chandra shows how an unusual form of cosmic precipitation can affect the growth and evolution of galaxies, slowing down star formation in galaxies with giant black holes. This galaxy cluster comes from a sample of over 200 that were studied to determine how giant black holes at their […]

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First Time Solutions Provide New Insight in Black Hole Collisions

February 27, 2015

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New Insight Found in Black Hole Collisions

In a new study, astrophysicists provide for the first time solutions to decades-old equations that describe conditions as two black holes in a binary system orbit each other and spiral in toward a collision. New research by Dr. Michael Kesden, assistant professor of physics at UT Dallas, and his colleagues provides revelations about the most […]

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Astronomers Discover Ultraluminous Quasar with a 12 Billion Solar Mass Black Hole

February 26, 2015

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Researchers Discover Brightest Quasar in the Early Universe

A newly published study details the discovery of the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The international team led by astronomers from Peking University in China and from the University of Arizona announce their findings in the scientific journal Nature on Thursday. The […]

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Chandra Discovers Intermediate-Mass Black Hole in Spiral Galaxy NGC 2276

February 26, 2015

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Astronomers Discover a New Object in Galaxy NGC 2276

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have discovered a newly cosmic object that may help provide answers to some long-standing questions about how black holes evolve and influence their surroundings. “In paleontology, the discovery of certain fossils can help scientists fill in the evolutionary gaps between different dinosaurs,” said Mar Mezcua of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center […]

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NuSTAR and XMM-Newton Telescopes Give Shape to Black Hole Winds

February 20, 2015

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NuSTAR and XMM-Newton Telescopes Reveal Furious Black Hole Winds

Using NASA’s NuSTAR and ESA’s XMM-Newton telescopes astronomers have measured the strength of ultra-fast winds from a supermassive black hole, proving that the winds are powerful enough to inhibit the host galaxy’s ability to make new stars. NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA’s (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds […]

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Dark Matter Influences Supermassive Black Hole Growth

February 19, 2015

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Dark Matter Guides Growth of Supermassive Black Holes

Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the ROSAT X-ray satellite’s all-sky survey, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics detail a distinct relationship between the mass of a dark matter halo and the mass of a black hole. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Every massive galaxy has a black hole at its center, and […]

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VLA Reveals Unexpected “Storm” in Teacup Galaxy

February 11, 2015

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VLA Finds Storm in Teacup Galaxy

Astronomers used VLA data, combined with VIMOS IFU data and HST imaging to reveal that a supermassive black hole is explosively heating and blasting around the gas the Teacup Galaxy, transforming it from an actively star-forming galaxy into one devoid of gas that can no longer form stars. Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Very […]

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CID-42: A Recoiling, Supermassive Black Hole?

January 23, 2015

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CID-42 A Recoiling Black Hole

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics provides new insights from deep VLA data on the potentially recoiling black hole CID-42 in the COSMOS field. When galaxies collide, the central supermassive black holes that reside at their cores will end up orbiting one another in a binary pair, at least according to current simulations. […]

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Yale Astronomers Identify the First “Changing Look” Quasar

January 22, 2015

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Black Hole Creates Changing Look Quasar

A team of astronomers from Yale University have identified the first “changing look” quasar, a gleaming object in deep space that appears to have its own dimmer switch. The discovery may offer a glimpse into the life story of the universe’s great beacons. Quasars are massive, luminous objects that draw their energy from black holes. […]

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A Significant Step Towards Explaining the Cosmic Origins of the Seeds of Galaxies

January 16, 2015

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3D Simulation Shows Small Protostellar-Like Core Can Grow into a Supermassive Black Hole

In a new study, astronomers from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found that a small protostellar-like core of only 0.1 solar-masses can develop in only a few years from a suitable environment and then can grow into a supermassive black hole in only millions of years. Supermassive black holes with millions or billions of solar-masses of […]

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NuSTAR Views Colliding Galaxies, Arp 299

January 9, 2015

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NAS Views Colliding Galaxies Arp 299

This newly released image from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array shows two colliding galaxies, collectively called Arp 299, located 134 million light-years away. Each of the galaxies has a supermassive black hole at its heart. NuSTAR has revealed that the black hole located at the right of the pair is actively gorging on gas, while […]

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