Astronomers are “seeing double,” uncovering two close pairs of ancient quasars that reside at the centers of merging galaxies. These brilliant light beacons are powered by supermassive black holes feeding on material, unleashing a torrent of radiation.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope in their hunt for a massive black hole at the heart of the globular cluster NGC 6397 found something they weren’t expecting: a concentration of smaller black holes lurking there instead. This is a new twist on the search for intermediate-mass black holes. They are the long-sought “missing link” between supermassive black holes and stellar-mass black holes.
An interdisciplinary research team has identified new, narrower limits on the radii of neutron stars—close to 11 kilometers. The novel approach combined two sources of information: the first gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observations of a binary neutron-star collision, and modern nuclear-theory calculations of uncertainty. The results suggest that neutron-star black-hole collisions can swallow neutron stars whole.
The American Institute of Physics recognizes the winners of the 2020 Science Communication Awards for their topical works on reshaping our world, recognizing forgotten women in science, searching for knowledge, and hunting down black holes. The 2020 winners are Susan Hockfield, Joshua Sokol, Curtis Manley, and Catalyst.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez, for their work on black holes, described by the Nobel committee as “the darkest secrets in the universe.” To help journalists and the public understand the context of this work, AIP is compiling a Nobel Prize resources page featuring relevant scientific papers and articles, quotes from experts, photos, multimedia, and other resources. The page will be updated throughout the day.
A team of astronomers using Hubble have found the most energetic outflows ever witnessed in the universe. These outflows emanate from quasars and tear across interstellar space like tsunamis, wreaking havoc on the galaxies in which the quasars live.
Scientists have been trying to build a census of all the black holes in the Milky Way galaxy, but new research shows they might have been missing an entire class of black holes that they didn’t know existed, a study publishing 10/31/19 in Science shows.