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Black Holes Encyclopedia

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Newest Black Hole

NGC 6240
A supermassive black hole in the constellation Ophiuchus.

NGC 6240Like many merging galaxies, NGC 6240 offers not one supermassive black hole but two. Eventually, though, they will merge to form a single object. The two galaxies of NGC 6240 began their merger process about 30 million years ago (as seen from Earth). Gravitational interactions between the two disk-shaped galaxies pulled out great streamers of millions of stars that spread across hundreds of tho... More »

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Kicked Out

A quasar in a distant galaxy has been kicked out of the galaxy's heart. The quasar, which is a supermassive black hole surrounded by a brilliant disk of hot gas, may have gotten the boot when two smaller black holes merged, producing a torrent of gravitational waves that sent the merged black hole on a high-speed exit from the galaxy's center.
Space Telescope Science Institute - March 23, 2017


Too Close

A Sun-like star unwisely strayed too close to a black hole, where it was torn apart by the black hole's gravity. A NASA satellite tracked the star's demise.
NASA - March 20, 2017


Living Dangerously

Recent observations have detected a binary system in which a white dwarf may be orbiting as little as 600,000 miles from a companion black hole, making it the closest known companion to a black hole.
Chandra X-Ray Center - March 13, 2017

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Video: Stranger Than Fiction

VideoThe concept of black holes has intrigued scientists for hundreds of years. For an introduction to the topic, watch "Black Holes: Stranger than Fiction," the latest video from the Texas Cosmology Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Pop Culture

Check out our selection of some of the best — and worst — roles played by black holes in movies, TV shows, books, and music. More »

 
Research

The Hole Story

Black holes are one of the busiest research topics in all of astronomy. Learn more about this cutting-edge research and get a peek at the backgrounds of some of the world's top black-hole researchers. More »


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