Black holes are the ultimate suck-ups. Everything–even light–that comes near the crushing gravity of these ultradense bodies falls in, and nothing gets out.
Scientists now claim that for the first time, they've observed energy extracted from a black hole, or more precisely, from the whirl of surrounding space that, according to previous studies, a spinning black hole drags along with it (SN: 11/15/97, p. 308).
Jörn Wilms of the University of Tübingen in Germany and his colleagues, who include Christopher S. Reynolds of the University of Maryland in College Park, base their findings on studies of a supermassive black hole about 100 million times the sun's mass. It lies 100 million light-years from Earth and within the core of the