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An artist’s impression of the path of star S2 as it passes very close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. The very strong gravitational field causes the colour of the star to shift slightly to the red. (Size and colour exaggerated for clarity.) ESO/M. Kornmesser

Einstein’s theory of gravity tested by a star speeding past a supermassive black hole

Astronomers traced a single star as it passed close to the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, and detected the telltale signature of Einstein’s gravity in action.
Nobody knows for sure where black holes lead to. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: Where do black holes lead to?

The pull created by a black hole is so strong that if you get too close to one – even if you are travelling away from it at the fastest speed it is possible to go – you will never be able escape.
Jets generated by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can transport huge amounts of energy across great distances. REUTERS/X-ray: NASA/CXC/Tokyo Institute of Technology/J.Kataoka et al

Radio galaxies: the mysterious, secretive “beasts” of the Universe

It's difficult to get jets - powerful, lightning fast particles - to give up their secrets. The new Square Kilometre Array radio telescope could hold the key to solving jets' mysteries.
Artist’s concept of the supermassive black hole and the gas clouds surrounding it. NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

How we caught a glimpse of a supermassive black hole having a meal

Astronomers have detected clumpy gas clouds on the verge of being swallowed by a supermassive black hole, rushing towards it at over 537,000 miles an hour.
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) was instrumental in determining the origin of cosmic rays. HESS

Supermassive black holes could be a source of mysterious cosmic rays

A new study suggests that mysterious high energy cosmic rays might originate from the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation

Timeline: the history of gravity

It's taken centuries for our understanding of gravity to evolve to where it is today, culminating in the discovery of gravitational waves, as predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago.
Supermassive black holes, containing as much mass as millions or billions of suns, exist at the centre of all galaxies, including our own Milky Way. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Speaking with: Meg Urry on supermassive black holes

Tanya Hill speaks with Meg Urry about distant galaxies and the supermassive black holes that lurk in their centres.

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