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Articles on Black holes

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As new and powerful telescopes gather new data about the universe, they reveal the limits of older theories. (Shutterstock)

Why Einstein must be wrong: In search of the theory of gravity

Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that our universe originated in a Big Bang. But black holes, and their gravitational forces, challenge the limits of Einstein’s work.
A quasar is a galactic object with a supermassive black hole in the center. International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld

Powerful black holes might grow up in bustling galactic neighborhoods

An astronomer and ‘black hole historian’ explains how the parts of the universe black holes grow in might influence how quickly they become bright, supermassive objects.
The central black hole of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the Virgo cluster. Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration/ESO

A unique collaboration using a virtual Earth-sized telescope shows how science is changing in the 21st century

Beyond just looking at black holes, the next-generation Event Horizon Telescope collaboration is the first to bring together perspectives from across the sciences and humanities.
Radio observatories like the Green Bank Telescope are in radio quiet zones that protect them from interference. NRAO/AUI/NSF

Radio interference from satellites is threatening astronomy – a proposed zone for testing new technologies could head off the problem

Many telescopes use the radio spectrum to learn about the cosmos. Just as human development leads to more light pollution, increasing numbers of satellites are leading to more radio interference.
Artist’s rendition of a concentration of small black holes in the centre of the galaxy NGC 6397. ESA/Hubble, N. Bartmann.

How could we detect atom-sized primordial black holes?

Black holes can have a mass equivalent to that of millions of suns. Other, smaller, black holes can combine the mass of Mount Everest into the size of an atom.
When two neutron stars merge and create a black hole, they produce a powerful blast of gamma rays. A. Simonnet (Sonoma State Univ.) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Unusual, long-lasting gamma-ray burst challenges theories about these powerful cosmic explosions that make gold, uranium and other heavy metals

Gamma-ray bursts occur when a massive star explodes or when two neutron stars merge. A newly discovered burst has puzzled astronomers, as it lasted much longer than astronomers would have expected.
VFTS 243 is a binary system of a large, hot blue star and a black hole orbiting each other, as seen in this animation. ESO/L.Calçada

Astronomers have found an especially sneaky black hole – discovery sheds light on star death, black hole formation and gravitational waves

Astronomers have discovered the first dormant black hole outside of the Milky Way. These black holes are not absorbing matter from a nearby star, making them incredibly hard to find.

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