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black holes

Art for "Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink"

Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink

November 21, 2018

Quasars powered by supermassive black holes have been unexpectedly vanishing. Scientists have started to figure out why.

Art for "How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity"
In Theory

How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity

November 14, 2018

In the latest campaign to reconcile Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics, many physicists are studying how a higher dimensional space that includes gravity arises like a hologram from a lower dimensional particle theory.


Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

October 30, 2018

Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.

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Quantized Columns

The End of Theoretical Physics as We Know It

August 27, 2018

Computer simulations and custom-built quantum analogues are changing what it means to search for the laws of nature.

Art for "Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn"
Abstractions blog

Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn

August 22, 2018

String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.

Art for "Star-Swallowing Black Holes Burp Out Their Secrets"

Star-Swallowing Black Holes Reveal Secrets in Exotic Light Shows

August 8, 2018

Black holes occasionally reveal themselves when passing stars get ripped apart by their gravity. These tidal disruption events have created a new way for astronomers to map the hidden cosmos.

Illustration of a galaxy simulation.

The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It

June 12, 2018

Computer simulations have become so accurate that cosmologists can now use them to study dark matter, supermassive black holes and other mysteries of the real evolving cosmos.

Illustration of a black hole with a Cauchy horizon
general relativity

Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes

May 17, 2018

Mathematicians have disproved the strong cosmic censorship conjecture. Their work answers one of the most important questions in the study of general relativity and changes the way we think about space-time.

Photo of Large Magellan Cloud rotating clockwise.
Abstractions blog

What Astronomers Are Learning From Gaia’s New Milky Way Map

May 8, 2018

A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.