Black holes

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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.
Massive bodies can send ripples through space time in the form of gravitational waves. NASA

Gravitational waves discovered: top scientists respond

The long awaited discovery of gravitational waves has sent ripples through the scientific world. Here top experts respond to the historic announcement.
When two black holes collide, the resulting gravitational ripples can be felt across the cosmos. Henze, NASA

Gravitational waves discovered: the universe has spoken

The detection of gravitational waves is the final confirmation of Einstein's theory of general relativity, and opens up a new window into the cosmos.
Two black holes collide. University of Glasgow

Gravitational waves found: the inside story

It is the physics discovery of the century – even bigger than the Higgs Boson. Here's how it happened and what it means, by a key member of one of the lead teams
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.
A visualisation of gravitational waves emitted by two orbiting supermassive black holes. CSIRO

Where are the missing gravitational waves?

A new study has failed to find evidence of gravitational waves, but that doesn't mean Einstein was wrong about their existence.
Artist’s impression of two white dwarf stars destined to merge and create a Type Ia supernova in 700-million years time. ESO/L. Calçada

White dwarf merger is set to prove supernova theory

Two white dwarfs found orbiting each other at the centre of a planetary nebula are now known to have enough mass that they will eventually trigger a special kind of supernova, according to research published…
Gemini North observatory, on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, shoots a laser beam into the night sky to create an ‘artificial star’, part of a process that helps astronomers remove blurring from any images of galaxies. Gemini Observatory and Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

Laser helps find supermassive black hole in a small galaxy

A supermassive black hole has been found in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy – the smallest galaxy known to contain such a massive black hole. This finding, published today in Nature, suggests that supermassive…
Scary but fascinating. NASA and M. Weiss (Chandra X -ray Center)

From black holes to dark matter, an astrophysicist explains

Katherine Mack, astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne, answered questions posed by the public on Reddit. The Conversation has curated the highlights. Dark Matter How do you explain dark matter…
Artist’s impression of a microquasar, such as the newly-discovered MQ1 in the M83 galaxy. TD Russell (ICRAR-Curtin) using the BINSIM visualisation code by R Hynes (LSU)

Pocket rocket of the universe: a new ‘fast and furious’ black hole

A black hole with extremely powerful jets has been found in the nearby galaxy Messier 83 (M83) by a team of Australian and American researchers, as we report in the journal Science today. Black holes are…
Stephen Hawking stirs the debate on black holes. But is he right? Flickr/NASA HQ PHOTO

Grey is the new black hole: is Stephen Hawking right?

Over the past few days, the media has cried out the recent proclamation from Stephen Hawking that black holes, a mystery of both science and science fiction, do not exist. Such statements send social media…
We’ve known about the energetic jets that spew matter from black holes for nearly a century, but what are they made of? NASA

Cosmic jets: what’s shooting out of black holes?

While we tend to think of black holes as giant cosmic vacuum cleaners, it’s not all one-way travel. As gas falls in towards a black hole, it spirals gradually inwards like water going down a plug hole…
New research shows supermassive black holes are bigger than the sum of their parts. NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

When galaxies collide: the growth of supermassive black holes

Galaxies may look pretty and delicate, with their swirls of stars of many colours - but don’t be fooled. At the heart of every galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, including in our own Milky Way. Black…
How is the spin of black holes measured, and what can it tell us about our universe? NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Cutting through the spin on supermassive black holes

Astronomers have measured the spin of a black hole buried in the heart of a galaxy located 56 million light years away, and discovered it was spinning quickly – about as quickly as it could go. That was…

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