Black Holes

Black holes are among the weirdest things in astronomy. Predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, black holes objects so massive and compact that nothing, not even light can escape. Since their prediction from theory, stellar-mass black holes have been found scattered throughout the Milky Way and supermassive black holes containing millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun have been found inhabiting the Milky Way’s center and the cores of most large galaxies. Some are dark; others blaze their way out of quiescence as they guzzle gas from their surroundings — we see these black holes as X-ray sources and brilliant quasars. Peruse the stories below to get the latest news on black holes observations and theory.

Black hole's glowing accretion disk

Black Hole Caught Spinning?

X-ray observations of a distant supermassive black hole might end a decades-long debate over the nature of these X-ray signals. But not everyone’s convinced that the observations are what they appear to be.

Barrel-shaped supernova remnant

Baby Black Hole Discovered

Astronomers investigating a supernova remnant see nothing but swirls of gas. The lack of stellar remains means the explosion must have birthed a black hole only 1,000 years ago.

knots from black hole

Beads on a Galaxy-Scale String

A new image from the Australia Telescope Compact Array shows a series of brilliant knots along the jet shooting from a supermassive black hole. While not the first sighting of a string of pearls gracing a galaxy's jet, the new image is a striking look at a mysterious phenomenon.

stars orbiting black hole

Star Zips around Black Hole

Astronomers announced that they've successfully tracked a star that takes less than 12 years to whip around the Milky Way's central black hole. The star isn't so special on its own, but combined with other observations it might help unwrap the region's mysteries.

What would happen if I fed animatter into a black hole?

What would happen if I fed animatter into a black hole? Could this be a treatment to get rid of black holes? No. Antimatter has positive mass just like ordinary matter, so the black hole would merely get larger and heavier. Whatever fireworks happened inside the hole, if the anitmatter met up with ordinary...