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Black Holes Encyclopedia

Latest Black Hole News


First Black Hole Ever Detected Is More Massive Than We Thought
Cygnus X-1, which was first seen by an X-ray telescope in space in 1964, is farther away than earlier measurements have shown, which means it must be several times more massive.

International Center for Radio Astronomy Research - February 19, 2021



Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole
The Event Horizon Telescope, a collaboration of many observatories around the world, has captured an image of the "shadow" of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy M87. It is the first image of any black hole.

Event Horizon Telescope - April 10, 2019



Jetting Away from a Black Hole
Astronomers watch a powerful jet of particles develop after a black hole demolished and began ingesting a star that passed too close.

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden - July 6, 2016

Massive Collapse
Astronomers have discovered evidence that gas in the universe collapsed to form a supermassive black hole.

University of Texas at Austin - July 6, 2016

Black Holes Galore
A new study suggests that gravitational-wave observatories eventually could detect hundreds of black hole mergers every year. The first direct detection of gravitational waves, announced earlier this year, came from the merger of two black holes more than one billion years ago.

Rochester Institute of Technology - June 22, 2016

Lighting Up a Black Hole
When an unlucky star passed to close to a supermassive black hole in a galaxy 3.9 billion light-years away, the black hole's gravity ripped the star apart, creating a brilliant flare and confirming the black hole's presence.

NASA - June 22, 2016

Lonely Giant
One of the most massive black holes yet discovered -- a behemoth weighing about 17 billion times as much as the Sun -- is in the center of a galaxy that's a member of a small galaxy cluster

Space Telescope Science Institute - April 4, 2016



Lonely Giant
One of the most massive black holes yet discovered -- a behemoth weighing about 17 billion times as much as the Sun -- is in the center of a galaxy that's a member of a small galaxy cluster

Space Telescope Science Institute - April 4, 2015



Stretching Out
A giant gas cloud is being ripped apart as it loops around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

European Southern Observatory - June 25, 2014



Galactic History Lesson
A supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy NGC 1365 is rotating rapidly, which reveals important details about its formation and the environment of the galaxy that surrounds it.

ESA - February 27, 2013



Texas Astronomers Measure Unusual Giant Black Hole
A black hole in a relatively close galaxy is not only one of the most massive yet discovered, it accounts for far more of the galaxy's total mass than any other yet seen.

McDonald Observatory - November 29, 2012

Getting Closer
Using techniques that cancel out much of the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere, astronomers have discovered a star that races around the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way once every 11 years, which puts it closer to the black hole than any other star yet seen. The discovery will allow scientists to probe the black hole's effects on spacetime.

UCLA Newsroom - October 5, 2012

Doubling Up
A recent study revealed two black holes at the center of M22, a globular cluster in the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers were looking for evidence of an intermediate-mass black hole (several hundred to several thousand times the mass of the Sun) in the cluster, but instead found two black holes, each of which is about 10-20 times the mass of the Sun.

NRAO News - October 5, 2012

Black-Hole Bonanza
Images from an infrared space telescope show evidence of millions of dust-enshrouded supermassive black holes in distant galaxies.

NASA JPL - August 29, 2012

Black Hole Growth Found to be Out of Synch
A study using Chandra X-Ray Observatory has found that the black hole in the center of NGC 4342 is heavier in relation to the surrounding bulge of stars than the black holes in most galaxies.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory - June 11, 2012

Telescopes on the ground and in space caught a black hole ripping apart a star and ingesting some of its remains.

NASA - May 3, 2012

Small and Distant
Astronomers from the United Kingdom have found the most distant stellar-mass black hole yet discovered. It is about 12 million light-years away in Centaurus A, a galaxy that is known to have a supermassive black hole in its core.

Royal Astronomical Society - March 27, 2012

Little Snacks for the Milky Way's Black Hole
Small flares in the X-ray light from the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy may erupt when the black hole "snacks" on asteroids.

Chandra Web Site - February 8, 2012


New Heavyweight Champions
An international team of astronomers has measured the masses of the heaviest black holes yet confirmed: two galactic behemoths that top the scales at about 10 billion times the mass of the Sun.

McDonald Observatory - December 7, 2011

Infrared Satellite Sees Wild 'Jet'
An infrared satellite has watched the "jet" of material from a black hole vary in size and intensity.

NASA - September 19, 2011

Researchers Detail How A Distant Black Hole Devoured A Star
An orbiting X-ray satellite has been watching a supermassive black hole devour a star since March 2011.

NASA - August 22, 2011

Black Hole Holds More Water Than 100 Trillion Oceans
A quasar that's 12 billion light-years away is encircled by a massive disk of material that includes water -- more than 100 trillion times as much water as fills Earth's oceans.

NASA - July 22, 2011

Merging Galaxies Have Two Supermassive Black Holes
A survey by two space-based X-ray observatories has found that the merging galaxies known as NGC 3758 have two supermassive black holes, which are separated by just 11,000 light-years. Each black hole is gorging on stars and gas around it, producing huge amounts of energy.

NASA - June 10, 2011

Windy Black Holes
Powerful galactic winds observed by a space-based observatory support the idea that supermassive black holes shut down star formation in the centers of galaxies.

ESA News - May 9, 2011

Texas Astronomers 'Weigh' Heaviest Known Black Hole
New observations show that the black hole at the center of the galaxy M87 is about 6.6 billion times as massive as the Sun, making it the most massive black hole in our cosmic neighborhood.

McDonald Observatory - January 13, 2011

Taking the Pulse of a Black Hole System
The disk of hot gas around a stellar-mass black hole “beats” every 50 seconds, as it produces enormous bursts of X-rays that heat the gas and create strong “winds” of charged particles.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory - January 12, 2011

Puny Galaxy, Big Black Hole
Black holes can lurk at the centers of even the smallest galaxies. An example is Henize 2-10, a galaxy that is just three percent the diameter of the Milky Way. Astronomers have discovered a black hole in its core that is several million times the mass of the Sun.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory - January 9, 2011



Astronomers Discover Possible Infant Black Hole
Observations by several orbiting X-ray telescopes have revealed a possible black hole in the nearby galaxy Messier 100. The black hole was born just 31 years ago (as seen from Earth), making it the youngest black hole ever discovered.

NASA - November 15, 2010

Bad Neighbors
The supermassive black holes in the early universe were bad neighbors. Winds and radiation from the super-hot disks of gas around them may have prevented galaxies around them from growing.

Hubble News Center - October 7, 2010

M31 Black Hole Gets Frisky
Giant eruptions mimic processes on the Sun.

StarDate - May 25, 2010

Black Hole Runs Away
A supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy appears to be on the lam, zipping away from the galaxy's center at high speed.

Netherlands Institute for Space Research - May 10, 2010



M87 Black Hole Bulks Up
A recent study that considered the mass of a galaxy's dark matter concluded that the black hole at the center of M87 is even more massive than thought -- up to seven billion times as massive as the Sun.

McDonald Observatory - June 8, 2009

Tough Stellar Infants Survive Black Hole Neighborhood
Even though the region around a supermassive black hole can be cemetery for stars, astronomers have discovered that it can also serve as a stellar nursery.

StarDate - January 5, 2009