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A Star Fell Into a Black Hole, Revealing Its Super-Fast Spin

Scientists have measured a fundamental property of a supermassive black hole—how fast it spins—by measuring a star slamming into it. Read More >>

giz asks
What Happens When Two Black Holes Collide?

On 14 September 2015, signals from one of the Universe’s most mind-boggling, powerful events produced the tiniest signal in a pair of detectors, one in the US state of Louisiana and one in the state of Washington. They’d detected two already-wild objects, black holes, slamming into one another. Read More >>

space
Physicists Spot Four Black Hole Collisions, Including the Largest One Ever Recorded

Physicists have spotted four new instances of black holes colliding and sending their gravitational waves toward the Earth, including the most massive collision recorded to date. Read More >>

science
How the Universe Ends

Somewhere between a second and a millennium from now, you will die. Your body and all of its parts will cease functioning and rejoin the Earth as regular, lifeless stuff. The Earth, too, will die, engulfed by an expanding, ageing Sun. The Sun will burn off all of its fuel and end up a white dwarf, then burn out and die. The Milky Way will collide with nearby Andromeda, and form a large, elliptical galaxy, which will die by losing all of its stars to intergalactic space. The corpses of those remaining stars will die, decaying into their constituent parts. The universe will age onward, until all matter is either stored in black holes or floating as free elementary particles. Those black holes will evaporate, and then universe will die. All that was will be an icy cold nothing, forever. Read More >>

space
NASA’s Flagship X-Ray Telescope Back Online After Weekend Safe Mode

One of NASA’s flagship telescopes, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, went into safe mode last week following gyroscope problems. That telescope is now back up and running. Read More >>

space
Astronomers Spot a Black Hole Sucking Up an Earth-Size Clump of Matter

You might think of black holes as enormous vacuum cleaners, sucking in all the matter and light that ventures too close. But confusingly, scientists normally see stuff leaving the area around a black hole, via jets of matter and light from ripped-apart dust. It’s rare to see matter get devoured. Read More >>

space
The Only Known Sound in Space Is This ‘Singing’ Black Hole

Everyone knows there is no sound in space. After all, a sound wave requires a medium, like air or water, to travel through, and space is mostly a vacuum. But in studying a nearby galaxy cluster, astronomers detected a true occurrence of sound in space – and in this case, the incredibly deep sound was coming from a black hole. Read More >>

space
See the South Pole Message That Alerted Astronomers to the Cosmic-Ray-Spewing Blazar

On Thursday, scientists made a huge announcement: Telescopes around the world recorded a source of mysterious, ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles that hit the Earth. It all started with a text message. Read More >>

space
Scientists Find Stronger Evidence for New Kind of Black Hole

We’ve seen supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies tearing stars to shreds. We’ve detected the energy wave from relatively tiny black holes slamming together to create a wobble in space-time a billion light-years away. But what about the medium-sized black holes in between these extremes? Read More >>

space
The Hungriest Black Hole Ever Detected Gobbles a Sun-Sized Star Every Two Days

Supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies can get absurdly huge, sometimes reaching masses billions of times greater than our Sun. The rate at which black holes grow can vary, but Australian astronomers have detected one such object with an unusually intense appetite, making it the fastest-growing black hole ever detected in the observable universe. Read More >>

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Astronomers Find Evidence of Thousands of Black Holes at the Center of Our Galaxy

Astronomers have long predicted that as many as 20,000 black holes could be hiding in our galaxy’s centre, but so far no one has been able to spot them. Until now. Read More >>

science
Could Higgs Bosons and Primordial Black Holes Explain Dark Matter?

Without an actual discovery, it can be difficult to convince us laypeople that there’s really such a thing as “dark matter.” It seems to interact with our universe solely through gravity, and no experiment has detected it here on Earth yet. So what if there’s an explanation to what’s causing dark matter using physics that already exists, like Higgs bosons and black holes? Read More >>

science
Physicists React to Stephen Hawking’s Passing

Stephen Hawking passed away yesterday in his home at age 76. Hawking popularised the deepest questions of the universe and became a pop culture icon thanks to his writing and work. His personality and ideas had a profound impact on scientists and science fans alike. Read More >>

space
Could the Weirdness of Quantum Physics Produce a New Kind of Star?

It would be silly to think that scientists and astronomers have spotted all of the different kinds of weird things that exist in space. After all, we’re pretty sure the universe is mostly composed of dark matter and dark energy that we haven’t directly detected. But new research seems to imply that there are entirely different kinds of stars hiding in the laws of physics—and that’s something quite surprising. Read More >>

space
Incredibly Detailed Image of Our Galaxy’s Centre Shows How Things Move Around a Black Hole

There’s a black hole called Sagittarius A* at the center of our galaxy. It has 4 million times the mass of the sun, but is only around the size of Mercury’s orbit. It’s 26,000 light years away, but let’s say some unfortunate mishap brought you within a light year or two of that behemoth. What would happen? Read More >>