First light detected from behind a black hole

For the first time, astrophysicists have caught sight of light reflected from behind a black hole, proving Einstein right yet again. You may have heard that nothing – not even light – can escape a black hole, but this isn’t strictly true. Anything that crosses the event horizon is forever lost, but the hot disc … Continue reading First light detected from behind a black hole

Astronomers find ‘Goldilocks’ black hole

Last year, scientists used gravitational waves to detect an elusive intermediate-mass black hole for the first time. Now, Australian astronomers have spotted another – this time using gamma-ray bursts. Black holes are formed when massive stars reach the end of their lives and collapse under their own gravity. But they aren’t all the same – stellar mass … Continue reading Astronomers find ‘Goldilocks’ black hole

Why we love black holes

In the pantheon of astronomical objects, black holes are among the most amazing. Not only do they swallow large amounts of matter into a void beyond ordinary comprehension, but they are messy eaters, ejecting the dregs of their meals in fierce jets that make them among the most energetic objects in the Universe. All of … Continue reading Why we love black holes

Astronomers find source of four radio bursts

Fast radio bursts are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. The immensely powerful bursts of radiation appear randomly from points in the Universe. They flash without warning, releasing as much energy in the blink of an eye as our Sun will emit in 80 years. They can’t be predicted, and usually occur only once, … Continue reading Astronomers find source of four radio bursts

Star flung across the galaxy

  A star travelling through the Milky Way at more than six million km/h has been discovered by a team of international astronomers. They predict that the star was flung from the centre of our galaxy by a supermassive black hole around five million years ago. The star will leave the Milky Way, never to … Continue reading Star flung across the galaxy

Astronomers react to black hole images

In one of the biggest scientific announcements of recent times, an international collaboration of astronomers and astrophysicists revealed overnight the first ever image of a black hole. The image, resembling a bright donut, shows for the very first time the Event Horizon – the point at which no light can escape the gravitational pull of … Continue reading Astronomers react to black hole images