Astronomers Watched a Black Hole Shred a Star – But Surprisingly Little Was Devoured

Astronomers Watched a Black Hole Shred a Star – But Surprisingly Little Was Devoured

What happens when a star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole? The obvious story is that it gets sucked in, never to be seen again. Some of its material gets superheated on the way in and that gives off huge amounts of radiation – usually X-rays. That’s not a wrong explanation, just incomplete. … Read more

We Have a New Record For The Fastest Star Zooming Around a Supermassive Black Hole

We Have a New Record For The Fastest Star Zooming Around a Supermassive Black Hole

A newly discovered star is so close to our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole that it completes an orbit in just four years. That’s the shortest orbit yet for one of the stars looping around the Sagittarius A*. It’s an oval-shaped journey around the black hole that brings the star to orbital velocities over 2.5 … Read more

The Largest Star in The Milky Way Is Slowly Dying, And Astronomers Are Watching

The Largest Star in The Milky Way Is Slowly Dying, And Astronomers Are Watching

Three-dimensional models of astronomical objects can be ridiculously complex. They can range from black holes that light doesn’t even escape to the literal size of the Universe and everything in between. But not every object has received the attention needed to develop a complete model of it, but we can officially add another highly complex … Read more

A Rogue Black Hole Roaming Our Galaxy May Have Just Been Confirmed

A Rogue Black Hole Roaming Our Galaxy May Have Just Been Confirmed

The first detection of what appears to be a rogue black hole drifting through the Milky Way, revealed earlier this year, just got important validation. A second team of scientists, conducting a separate, independent analysis, has reached almost the same finding, adding weight to the idea that we’ve potentially identified a rogue black hole wandering … Read more

Creepy Optical Illusion Makes It Look Like a Black Hole Is Coming to Get You

Creepy Optical Illusion Makes It Look Like a Black Hole Is Coming to Get You

A new optical illusion can trick most of us into perceiving an expanding black hole, new research reports. The image is completely static, but researchers say it gives people “a growing sense of darkness, as if entering a space voided of light”. The illusory forward motion is probably our mind’s way of preparing us for … Read more

A New Quantum Technique Could Change How We Study The Universe

A New Quantum Technique Could Change How We Study The Universe

There’s a revolution underway in astronomy. In fact, you might say there are several. In the past ten years, exoplanet studies have advanced considerably, gravitational wave astronomy has emerged as a new field, and the first images of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been captured. A related field, interferometry, has also incredibly advanced thanks to … Read more

Supermassive Black Holes May Come From Comparatively Humble Beginnings, Says Study

Supermassive Black Holes May Come From Comparatively Humble Beginnings, Says Study

We all know that a humongous black hole exists at the center of our galaxy. It’s called Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short) and it has the mass of 4 million suns. We got to see a radio image of it a few weeks back, showing its accretion disk. So, we know it’s there. Astronomers … Read more

We May Have Caught a Supermassive Black Hole Flipping Its Entire Magnetic Field

We May Have Caught a Supermassive Black Hole Flipping Its Entire Magnetic Field

Black holes are powerful cosmic engines. They provide the energy behind quasars and other active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This is due to the interaction of matter with its powerful gravitational and magnetic fields. Technically, a black hole doesn’t have a magnetic field on its own, but the dense plasma surrounding the black hole as an … Read more

These Eerie Wails Are a Real Sound Wave From a Supermassive Black Hole

These Eerie Wails Are a Real Sound Wave From a Supermassive Black Hole

We might not be able to hear sound in space, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. In 2003, astronomers detected something truly astonishing: acoustic waves propagating through the gas surrounding a supermassive black hole, 250 million light-years away. We wouldn’t be able to hear them at their current pitch. Emanating from the supermassive black … Read more

Extreme ‘Black Widow’ Pulsar Detected Just 3,000 Light-Years Away

Extreme 'Black Widow' Pulsar Detected Just 3,000 Light-Years Away

There are some strange objects lurking in our galaxy, and astronomers have just spied an extreme new candidate roughly 3,000 to 4,000 light-years away. After investigating mysterious flashes of light coming from the system, researchers have detected what they suspect is an elusive ‘black widow’ star – a rapidly spinning pulsar that’s kept alive by … Read more