Black holes are extremely camera shy. Supermassive black holes, ensconced in the centers of galaxies, make themselves visible by spewing bright jets of charged particles or by flinging away or ripping up nearby stars. Up close, these behemoths are surrounded by glowing accretion disks of infalling material. But because a black hole’s extreme gravity prevents light from escaping, the dark...
Black holes have been beguiling from the very beginning.
Hinted at as early as the 1780s and predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, they didn’t get the name we know today until the 1960s. Bizarre beasts that squash gobs of matter into infinitely dense abysses, black holes were once thought to be merely a mathematical curiosity.
But astronomers tallied up evidence for...
Editor's note: This story will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.
This is what a black hole looks like.
A world-spanning network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope zoomed in on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole.
“We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen...
Editor's note: On April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration released a picture of the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87. Read the full story here.
We’re about to see the first close-up of a black hole.
The Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories spanning the globe, has set its sights on a pair of behemoths: Sagittarius A*, the...
The Milky Way’s black hole may finally get its close-up.
Beginning on April 5, scientists with the Event Horizon Telescope will attempt to zoom in on a never-before-imaged realm: a black hole’s event horizon. That’s the boundary at which gravity’s pull becomes so strong that nothing can escape.
In the telescope’s cross hairs are two supermassive black holes, one at the center of...
A black hole’s event horizon is a one-way bridge to nowhere, a gateway to a netherworld cut off from the rest of the cosmos.
Understanding what happens at that pivotal boundary could reveal the hidden influences that have molded the universe from the instant of the Big Bang.
Today some of the best minds in physics are fixated on the event horizon, pondering what would happen to...