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black holes

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.

Orange hills (polaritons) against a black background. Below each hill, an arrow points to an angular position on a circle.
explainers

The Near-Magical Mystery of Quasiparticles

March 24, 2021

The zoo of spontaneously emerging particlelike entities known as quasiparticles has grown quickly and become more and more exotic. Here are a few of the most curious and potentially useful examples.

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.

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.

2020 in Review

The Year in Physics

December 23, 2020

Featuring paradoxical black holes, room-temperature superconductors and a new escape from the prison of time.

Spheres of three different sizes.
Abstractions blog

Debate Erupts Over How ‘Forbidden’ Black Holes Grow

November 3, 2020

Once missing in action, middleweight black holes have finally been detected. Now researchers are trying to figure out how they grow from small ones.