Articles on Black holes

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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…
The reflected light from black holes enables astronomers to see how fast matter is swirling in the inner region of the disk, and ultimately to measure the black hole’s spin rate. NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA puts new spin on black holes

Scientists in the US have successfully used a new NASA telescope to help improve our understanding of how black holes and…
Black holes have been growing faster than previously thought, the new research found. Gabriel Perez Diaz

Scientists pinpoint missing mid-sized black holes

Australian researchers have redefined the relationship between galaxies and their black holes, showing that a widely-accepted…
The black hole at the centre of NGC 1277 galaxy is one of the largest ever discovered. NASA /ESA/Andrew C. Fabian/Remco C. E. van den Bosch (MPIA)

‘Overmassive’ black hole holds the mass of 17 billion suns

Astronomers have discovered a new, enormous black hole that could change our understanding of how galaxies evolve. Holding the mass of 17 billion suns, the black hole at the centre of the NGC 1277 galaxy…
The black hole, circled, sits in a star cluster 300 million light-years away. Sean Farrell

Scientists find evidence of first ‘middleweight’ black hole

Explosive outbursts of super-hot gas in a galaxy 300 million light-years away have provided evidence of the first known “middleweight…
A simulated Black Hole of ten solar masses as seen from a distance of 600km with the Milky Way in the background. Ute Kraus/Wikimedia

Explainer: black holes

The concept of a “black hole” is one of the most curious in astrophysics. It’s the answer to the question: “What happens if the density of matter in a region becomes so high that not even light can escape…
The Big Bang theory and the existence of God are ideas often grappled with when thinking about how the universe was created. DamienHR

The origin of the universe: is there a role for God?

Last week’s Global Atheist Convention and debates between prominent atheists and theologians in the Australian media has seen arguments about the existence of God getting a thorough airing. In my view…

Milky Way’s black hole devouring asteroids

X-ray flares from the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way may be caused by the regular vaporisation of…
Two “new” black holes, in relatively nearby galaxies, are the largest ever found. tsand

Scary monsters (and supermassive black holes)

Black holes have long been the staple of science fiction, being monstrous beasts with a gravitational pull that prevents even light from escaping. As well as being useful plot devices, offering mechanisms…
“Infinite” is where we get to when we reach the limits of our understanding. truly0utrageous

Black holes might exist, but let’s stay sceptical

Peruse the astrophysical literature and you could be forgiven for thinking black holes exist. But do they really? What makes a black hole special is its event horizon: a no-return gateway to an unknowable…
Most galaxies – including ours – host a hungry monster. allthecolours

Black hole noms: planetary treats for the galactic monster

What do black holes eat? And do supermassive black holes have fiercer appetites? Let’s remind ourselves of the facts. Lurking at the centre of the Milky Way is a monster, a giant black hole with a mass…

Black hole jets revealed

The innermost parts of a black hole’s active jets have been revealed for the first time. The observation, by NASA scientists…

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