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astrophysics

Photo of radio telescopes at the Allen Telescope Array with a starry sky featuring the Milky Way in the background.
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How Radio Astronomy Reveals the Universe

April 13, 2021

Radio waves, longer and less energetic than visible light, give astronomers access to some of the most obscure physics in the cosmos.

Spheres representing black holes, with small ones on top, large ones on the bottom, and one midsize example in the middle.
astrophysics

Long-Missing Midsize Black Hole Flashes Into View

March 29, 2021

Black holes seemed to come only in sizes small and XXL. A new search strategy has uncovered a black hole of “intermediate” mass, raising hopes of more to come.

An illustration of a bright blue flash in space.
astrophysics

New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole

March 10, 2021

A supernova-like explosion dubbed the Camel appears to be the result of a newborn black hole eating a star from the inside out.

Black holes on a blue swirly background.
Abstractions blog

Growing Inventory of Black Holes Offers a Radical Probe of the Cosmos

February 17, 2021

One black hole is nice, but astrophysicists can do a lot more science with 50 of them.

An abstract black ball on a blue background.
Abstractions blog

In Violation of Einstein, Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’

February 11, 2021

A new study shows that extreme black holes could break the famous “no-hair” theorem, and in a way that we could detect.

Historical star chart of the constellation Monoceros.
Abstractions blog

‘Unicorn’ Discovery Points to a New Population of Black Holes

January 27, 2021

Small black holes were nowhere to be found, leading astronomers to wonder if they didn’t exist at all. Now a series of findings, including a “unicorn” black hole, has raised hopes of solving the decade-long mystery.

Abstractions blog

Secret Ingredient Found to Power Supernovas

January 21, 2021

Three-dimensional supernova simulations have solved the mystery of why they explode at all.

The Milky Way galaxy shown in X-rays.
Abstractions blog

Galaxy-Size Bubbles Discovered Towering Over the Milky Way

January 6, 2021

For decades, astronomers debated whether a particular smudge was close-by and small, or distant and huge. A new X-ray map supports the massive option.

Abstractions blog

Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse

December 17, 2020

We don’t know why the universe appears to be expanding faster than it should. New ultra-precise distance measurements have only intensified the problem.