feb 282013
 
The Mystery of a Super-Fast Spinning Supermassive Black Hole

  Two X-ray space observatories, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton, have teamed up to measure definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our Sun.  This artist’s concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to [continue reading]

sep 292012
 
The First Glimpse of Black Hole Launchpad

  Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. For the first time, they have measured the black hole’s “point of no return” – the closest distance that matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black [continue reading]

sep 282012
 
'Flashy' Secrets of Merging Black Holes Uncovered

  According to Einstein, whenever massive objects interact, they produce gravitational waves — distortions in the very fabric of space and time — that ripple outward across the Universe at the speed of light. While astronomers have found indirect evidence of these disturbances, the waves have so far eluded direct detection. Ground-based observatories designed to [continue reading]

jun 222012
 
The Sharpest-Ever View of Black Hole Jets

  An international team, including NASA-funded researchers, using radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere has produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy. Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange [continue reading]