Menu Close

Articles on Supermassive black holes

Displaying 1 - 20 of 23 articles

An artist’s conception of two black holes entwined in a gravitational tango. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Christopher Go

Supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy may have a friend

There is a massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Measurements of star orbits near this black hole suggest that there may be a second companion black hole nearby.
Another reason you don’t want to get too close to a black hole is because of something we call ‘spaghettification’. If this happened to Earth it would be… unpleasant. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: can Earth be affected by a black hole in the future?

If you got too close to a black hole, it would suck you in and you'd never be able to escape, even if you were travelling at the speed of light. This point of no return is called the event horizon.
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.

Top contributors