Author Archives: Camille M. Carlisle

About Camille M. Carlisle

Science Editor Camille M. Carlisle covers science news for Sky & Telescope. She specializes in black holes, galactic cosmology, and whatever she happens to be writing about at the time. She and Robert Naeye co-edited S&T's special issue Mars: Mysteries and Marvels of the Red Planet, published summer 2014.

Quasar illustration

The Quasar Main Sequence

A new diagram might link the diverse visible-light characteristics of quasars to two physical properties — essentially, their accretion rate and orientation. If the analysis holds up, it could point the way toward a long-sought unification.

local supercluster

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

Astronomers have mapped the cosmic watershed and discovered a massive supercluster that extends more than 500 million light-years and contains 100,000 large galaxies. The Milky Way sits on the edge of this humongous structure.

B-mode discovery telescope

Direct Evidence of Big Bang Inflation

Researchers with an experiment based at the South Pole have discovered the long-sought "smoking gun" for inflation. The signal was hidden in polarization patterns in the cosmic microwave background and confirms physicists' audacious theory of how the Big Bang happened.

This composite of images from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope reveals multiple images of a distant quasar. (Each of the four bright pink points around the ring is an image of the region around the same supermassive black hole.) Astronomers used Chandra and XMM-Newton data to measure how quickly the black hole is spinning.

Black Hole Spins Super Fast

X-ray observations and cosmic coincidence unveil the details of a distant supermassive black hole. The result could be a first step in expanding our understanding of how black holes have beefed themselves up over the last several billion years.

Infrared view of Messier 83

Black Hole Ate Too Much

A stellar-mass black hole in the iconic galaxy M83 seems to have kept eating long after it should have stopped. If true, the discovery could have implications for how much black holes can affect their environments.

NGC 6872, the largest spiral galaxy

Galaxies Grow By Snacking

Evidence from observations and computer simulations supports a picture of galaxy growth that isn't dominated by the rough-and-tumble crashes of big galaxies. Instead, most of the universe's stellar metropolises appear to feed themselves with nibbles instead of feasts.

Crab Nebula Supernova Remnant

The Crab’s Surprise Molecule

Astronomers have identified a molecule containing the noble gas argon in the Crab Nebula. It's the first such molecule detected in space and confirms predictions of where a certain argon isotope is created in the cosmos.

hydrogen and oxygen emission from Europa

Plumes on Europa

New Hubble Space Telescope observations provide the best evidence yet that Jupiter's icy moon spits out water vapor from its surface. If real, such plumes could reach more than 100 miles above the little world's surface and rain down an extraterrestrial form of snow.

binary black hole

A Double Black Hole?

Strange emission from a distant galaxy paints an enigmatic picture of what’s happening inside its core. One solution: instead of one supermassive black hole, the galaxy hosts two trapped in a tight dance around each other.