aug 032012
The Awakening of a Distant Galaxy's Dormant Black Hole

  Last year, astronomers discovered a quiescent supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy that erupted after shredding and consuming a passing star. Now researchers have identified a distinctive X-ray signal observed in the days following the outburst that comes from matter on the verge of falling into the black hole.  This illustration highlights the [continue reading]

jul 232012
Quasars Have Turned Down the Radio, And the Lights

  A new study reveals the behavior of quasars in both radio and optical light over the past ten billion years, and it seems they have become progressively more considerate of their fellow cosmic residents. Artist’s conception of a quasar. In the hearts of many distant galaxies, monsters lurk, in the form of supermassive black [continue reading]

jul 182012
Telescope Network Zooms in on the Heart of a Distant Quasar

  An international team led by scientists from the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy has succeeded in observing the heart of a distant quasar with unprecedented sharpness, or angular resolution. The observations, made by connecting radio telescopes on different continents, are a crucial step towards a dramatic scientific goal: to depict the supermassive black hole at [continue reading]

jul 062012
The First "Middleweight" Black Hole is Found

  Observations with CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array have confirmed that astronomers have found the first known “middleweight” black hole. Galaxy ESO 243-49, about 300 million light-years away, is home to the newly found black hole. Credit: NASA, ESA and S. Farrell (University of Sydney) Outbursts of super-hot gas observed with a CSIRO radio telescope [continue reading]

jul 022012
Galaxy Harbours Many Star-Snacking Black Holes

  Astronomers have found evidence of hundreds of black holes in a galaxy 250 million light years away. The discovery, made with a worldwide network of radio telescopes, gives scientists a new way to find out how black holes are created. Three variable radio sources in Arp 220, a galaxy 250 million light years away. [continue reading]

jun 082012
How Black Holes Change Gear

  Black holes are extremely powerful and efficient engines that not only swallow up matter, but also return a lot of energy to the Universe in exchange for the mass they eat. When black holes attract mass they also trigger the release of intense X-ray radiation and power strong jets. But not all black holes [continue reading]