Heart of Darkness…

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity In a triumph of observation and data processing, astronomers at the Event Horizon Telescope have captured the first-ever picture of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The black hole is named Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A-star”), and the reveal of its image received anContinue reading “Heart of Darkness…”

Shadow of Infinity…

Topics: Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity When galaxies collide, the central supermassive black holes that they contain begin to orbit each other. This supermassive black hole binary attracts gas, which flows through the system to form two disk-shaped structures, one around each of the supermassive black holes. The gas in these “minidisks” heats asContinue reading “Shadow of Infinity…”

Rogue Singularity…

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity Each second, a brand new baby black hole is born somewhere in the cosmos as a massive star collapses under its own weight. But black holes themselves are invisible. Historically, astronomers have only been able to detect these stellar-mass black holes when they are acting on aContinue reading “Rogue Singularity…”

Cosmic Existentialism…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity “Small” black holes are estimated to make up 1% of the universe’s matter. Scientists have estimated the number of “small” black holes in the universe. And no surprise: It’s a lot. This number might seem impossible to calculate; after all, spotting black holes is not exactly the simplestContinue reading “Cosmic Existentialism…”

Black Hole Storm…

Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity Note: From comments on a previous post, maybe science writers need to work on their chosen list of metaphors? In the far reaches of the Universe, a supermassive black hole is throwing a tantrum. It’s blowing a tremendous wind into intergalactic space, and we’re seeing the stormContinue reading “Black Hole Storm…”

Strange Metals…

Topics: Black Holes, Modern Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Superconductors, Theoretical Physics Even by the standards of quantum physicists, strange metals are just plain odd. The materials are related to high-temperature superconductors and have surprising connections to the properties of black holes. Electrons in strange metals dissipate energy as fast as they’re allowed to under the lawsContinue reading “Strange Metals…”