Though we know black holes are kinda big, how do astronomers measure their mass? It’s not as if we can go out there and simply “weigh” them. Fortunately, astronomers have many tricky ways to work out the mass of objects in the universe and black holes are no exception. Continue reading ALMA ‘Weighs’ Monster Black Hole to Highest Precision
A highly sensitive radio telescope has seen something peculiar in the depths of our cosmos: A group of supermassive black holes are mysteriously aligned, as if captured in a synchronized dance.
These black holes, which occupy the centers of galaxies in a region of space called ELAIS-N1, appear to have no relation to one another, separated by millions of light-years. But after studying the radio waves generated by the twin jets blasting from the black holes’ poles, astronomers using data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India realized that all the jets were pointed in the same direction, like arrows on compasses all pointing “north.” Continue reading ‘Bizarre’ Group of Distant Black Holes are Mysteriously Aligned
New observations of a jet-emitting black hole show astonishing temperatures inside the jets of 10 trillion degrees Kelvin — a toasty 18 trillion degrees Fahrenheit. This new measurement shows that quasars can blow far past the theoretical temperature limit of 100 billion degrees Kelvin (179 billion degrees Fahrenheit), which has scientists puzzled. Continue reading Black Hole Jets Hotter Than Expected
Last week, a group of astronomers announced that they had for the first time discovered the source galaxy for a mysterious type of event known as a fast radio burst (FRB). But only a few days later, another group of scientists produced informal research that suggested otherwise. Continue reading Not So Fast: Radio Burst Mystery Far From Solved
In the wake of last week’s historic announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), British physicist and black hole theorist Stephen Hawking was quick to congratulate the US-led collaboration, sharing his excitement for the historic news. Continue reading Hawking: Gravitational Waves Could Revolutionize Astronomy