Supermassive black holes are difficult to observe and measure, yet they have profound effects on their host galaxies. Read up on the latest black hole discoveries presented at the Washington D.C. meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Astronomy news this week: Hubble images the most distant star, radio telescopes combine forces to probe black hole jet, and neutron star hotspots explained.
Newly published observations provide the first real evidence supporting a theory that tells us how black hole jets form.
Two telescopes — one on the ground and one in space — watched a black hole’s jet turn on, enabling astronomers to probe its origin.
Astronomers have measured the spin of one of the universe's most massive black holes — and provided evidence that the behemoth has a companion.
Astronomers have detected a torus rotating around the supermassive black hole at the center of spiral galaxy Messier 77, collecting observations that may shed light on why these weird structures exist.
A close pair of quasars in Pisces turns out just that, not the record-breaking gravitational lens that astronomers had hoped.
Astronomers poring through two decades of archival and survey observations have discovered what looks like a pair of supermassive black holes closing in for a merger.
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.
A supermassive black hole in the early universe is at least 10 times too heavy for its host galaxy, raising questions about galaxy and black hole coevolution.
Astronomers have discovered that one member of a pair of supermassive black holes is actually a pair itself, turning the system into the most distant black hole triplet yet detected and raising hopes for future discoveries.
New data shed light on last month’s exciting discovery of a black hole triplet — but they suggest instead that the threesome is really just a twosome.
A bizarre X-ray flare first spotted in 2010 could be a signal from two black holes that will ultimately unite into a single beast.
A new measurement could be the farthest back in time astronomers have ever reached when measuring a black hole’s spin.
New simulation work suggests that galaxies like the Milky Way could be home to a dozen supermassive black holes.
Astronomers are investigating a new technique for finding close pairs of supermassive black holes, and they might have found one in the nearest quasar.
Orphaned black hole or weird supernova? A mysterious source of radiation has left astronomers contemplating exotic explanations.
Astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole not sitting in its customary seat at the center of its galaxy. Gravitational waves from a recent merger may have ejected the black hole.
A Hubble image of a nearby, massive elliptical galaxy reveals tenuous filaments that appear to be connected to the growth of the galaxy's supermassive black hole.
A galaxy-size blob of gas discovered eight years ago by a Dutch schoolteacher has galvanized the study of the spectral remains of once-bright quasars.
A few decades ago, astronomers thought they had figured out how quasars operate. Now, a new study has thrown a wrench in the works.
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.
Astronomers have spotted what appears to be a regular signal coming from the blazar PG 1553+113.
Astronomers have confirmed that the quasar PG 1302-102 is probably a binary supermassive black hole, its members less than a tenth of a light-year apart.
The NuSTAR telescope has spied high-energy X-rays from five supermassive black holes shrouded in a thick veil of dust and gas, a test run that will lead to a better census of these hidden beasts.