Winds that charge away from supermassive black holes at a fraction of the speed of light have long been mysterious and even contentious. Now, new evidence sheds light on their origins.
Astronomers have discovered long filaments of cold gas — the ingredient for making stars — cocooning giant bubbles inflated by a black hole.
An intermediate-mass black hole might be lurking within a dense stellar cluster — a discovery that could point toward how these oddities form.
Unlucky stars serve as brilliant but short-lived snacks when they wander too close to supermassive black holes. But one such black hole is still gnawing on its stellar meal after a decade.
Astronomers have discovered an object in the active galaxy Cygnus A that wasn’t there before.
Every now and then, the Milky Way’s central, supermassive black hole tears apart a star and flings away some of its innards. Now astronomers think they know how to spot these cosmic spitballs.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory has gazed at a small patch of sky for almost 12 weeks, revealing 1,008 X-ray-emitting sources — most of them supermassive black holes.
From the discovery of gravitational waves to the building evidence that a massive planet could exist beyond Pluto, it has been a thrilling year for astronomy research. We recap.
An incredible blaze of light discovered more than a year ago still has astronomers baffled as to its cause - and the answer may be contrary to recent headlines.
Astronomers have spotted a supermassive black hole in a stripped-down galaxy racing away from a near-fatal close encounter in the center of a galaxy cluster.
Michelle Thaller talks with three leading scientists about black holes - how do we know they exist, where do they come from, and how can we learn more about them without going too close?
Two sources tens of millions of light-years away have sent puzzling X-ray flares blazing our way. Now astronomers think they might have the answer: intermediate-mass black holes.
New observations solve a 30-year-old puzzle of mysterious signals from around black holes.
The gravitational wave observatory has detected a second event, heralding a new era in astrophysics. The day after Christmas last year, the cosmos quietly gifted scientists with gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime – produced in a collision between two stellar-mass black holes. It’s the second event detected by physicists working with…
Astronomers have detected three cold gas clumps falling toward a galaxy's center — at odds with the prevailing idea for how black holes grow.
A galaxy in the midst of a merger isn’t forming stars, even though it could. Astronomers think the galaxy’s central black hole might be the reason why.
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope might have detected a burst from the same merging black holes that emitted the gravitational waves LIGO detected.
Astronomers have measured the spin of one of the universe's most massive black holes — and provided evidence that the behemoth has a companion.
LIGO scientists have announced the direct detection of gravitational waves, a discovery that won't just open a new window on the cosmos — it'll smash the door wide open.
When a quasar, a black hole-fueled beacons that shines from across the cosmos, went dark, astronomers set out to find out why.
Black holes may have a limit to how much they can eat in the public eye.
Gossip is racing around the physics and astronomy community: has LIGO finally heard its first black-hole merger? Here’s the reality.
Astronomers have detected magnetic fields writhing around the Milky Way's central black hole.
Astronomers have spotted what appears to be a regular signal coming from the blazar PG 1553+113.
X-ray observations suggest that flares happen when a black hole's "atmosphere" contracts and launches away from it.