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Black Holes Slamming Together Officially ‘Routine’

Well, this is it. We’ve finally gotten to the point where observing two black holes slamming together, possibly the most way-out physics-based idea one could wrap their head around, has become “routine.” How did we get here? Read More >>

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Can Scientists Figure Out Where Colliding Black Holes Come From?

When distant black holes (or neutron stars) collide, there’s a lot scientists can tell from the way they send gravitational waves rippling through space. That includes their masses, their distance, or how their spins line up with one another. But one question they’re still trying to figure out is, well, where are they? Read More >>

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Observatories Across the World Announce Groundbreaking New Gravitational Wave Discovery

Vicky Kalogera, a Northwestern University physicist, took her week of much-needed vacation in Utah this past August. She promised her family she’d stay off of email for a week. It wasn’t a real promise, of course, but she was going to try. She’d arranged the perfect day for August 17. Her husband was going to take the kids hiking in Arches National Park while she’d spend the whole day at the spa. Right as she left her room, she just had to give her email a peep. The deluge brought the news: Telescopes and detectors across the world were making a monumental observation. Read More >>

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Astronomers Think They Discovered the Missing Link in Black Hole Evolution

Science fiction doesn’t exist to make movies about the stuff we know about—it explores the unknown physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry where real uncertainty about topics can lead to compelling, believable stories. That’s what makes black holes such a popular subject; light can’t escape them, maybe they’re portals across space and time, and they seem to break the rules. But who needs fiction when there are already incredibly strange mysteries in the real world? Read More >>

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Incredible New Observation Shows Supermassive Black Holes Orbiting Each Other

You think our galaxy is special? Ha. Our boring pinwheel of gas and dark matter might be a nice hangout for humans. But 750 or so million light years away, there’s an elliptical galaxy, Galaxy 0402+379, whose two supermassive black holes are orbiting each other from a distance of only 24 or so light years. Their combined mass is around 15 billion times that of our Sun. Read More >>

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Mind-Blowing New Theory Connects Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Gravitational Waves

The past few years have been incredible for physics discoveries. Scientists spotted the Higgs boson, a particle they’d been hunting for almost 50 years, in 2012, and gravitational waves, which were theorised 100 years ago, in 2016. This year, they’re slated to take a picture of a black hole. So, thought some theorists, why not combine all of the craziest physics ideas into one, a physics turducken? What if we, say, try to spot the dark matter radiating off of black holes through their gravitational waves? Read More >>

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Why Is This Quasar Running Away From Such a Handsome Galaxy?

We don’t understand quasars all that well, but are pretty certain that these incredibly bright lights belong in the centres of galaxies. So it looked a little weird when astronomers spotted quasar 3C 186 thirty six thousand light years away from the centre of its galaxy, seemingly trying to escape. Read More >>

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Scientists Are Turning Earth Into a Telescope to See a Black Hole

Black holes may be one of the universe’s most bizarre phenomena. They’re literally divide-by-zeros in the sky, places where the mathematics of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity falls apart. These dense behemoths have such strong gravitational fields that time stops, and all futures point directly at the centre, and light crossing the boundary, or event horizon, can’t escape. But no one’s ever taken a picture of a black hole, and scientists want to change that. Read More >>

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A Wild New Hypothesis for How the First Monster Black Holes Formed

It’s no secret that supermassive black holes are heartless beasts: These objects of immense gravity that let nothing, not even light escape, have fascinated astronomers since the early 20th century. While it’s believed that so-called supermassive black holes lurk at the center of most galaxies, including our own, there’s still much we don’t know about how they formed, or why, except to remind us of our own mortality. Read More >>

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Here’s A Black Hole Gif To Put All Your Problems In Perspective

If you need to feel insignificant and ineffectual this Monday morning, we've got just the gif. Read More >>

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How Tiny Would Donald Trump’s Hands Be If They Were Black Holes?

Let me tell you a little something about gravity: It’s weird. A hundred or so years ago, Albert Einstein realised Isaac Newton’s laws didn’t work so well for really extreme situations, ones Newton never would have encountered on 17th century Earth. So Einstein said, alright, let’s come up with a new theory that looks like Newton’s theory, but also works for really big things and really fast things like planets and light—called general relativity. Einstein’s theory says mass causes the shape of space and time to change. Read More >>

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Black Holes May Be Way More Murderous Than We Realised

Don’t get me wrong, black holes are cool but they’re also giant voids of terror: these gravitational abysses have been known to snack on stars in occurrences called Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs). It’s always the same horror story — an unsuspecting star wanders too close to a black hole, only to get ripped apart by the black hole’s gravity. Isn’t space pleasant? Read More >>

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Drone Footage of a Draining Dam Looks Like Flying Into a Black Hole

To prevent massive dams from overflowing when heavy rains cause water levels to rise, spillways like this are used to drain water to the stream below. Without a true sense of scale, it looks just like the drain in your bath, but from a drone’s bird’s eye view, the opening to this spillway looks more like a black hole sucking everything in. Read More >>

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This Giant Black Hole Set a Record for Longest-Ever Lunch

A typical lunch outing with friends lasts about an hour-and-a-half. If it’s bottomless brunch, maybe tack on a few more hours. But supermassive black holes don’t care for our human constructions of time—it turns out they’ll eat for a decade if they choose. Read More >>

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A New Method Could Reveal the Stealthiest Black Holes in the Galaxy

Black holes are the strong, silent type — an age-old enigma. Hubble estimates that there are roughly 100 million black holes in our galaxy alone, but because their gravitational pull is so intense, light can’t escape. So even with the most advanced equipment,“stray” black holes wandering in space are nearly impossible to find. Read More >>