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illustration of a black hole

Black holes have captured our imaginations for decades. The process of black hole formation was first described in 1939 in a paper in Physical Review, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

 Vanitas Still Life With Flowers and Skull

BEAUTY AND DECAY  Vanitas art, which explores the vanity of life and inevitability of death, became popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Adriaen van Utrecht’s 1642 Vanitas Still Life With Flowers and Skull is shown.

SN 2011fe

In August of 2011, researchers discovered SN 2011fe, a type 1a supernova 21 million light-years away in galaxy M101 (images show the galaxy before and after the supernova, with the supernova circled at right). Studies using type 1a supernovas as “standard candles” to measure how fast the universe expands (the Hubble constant) produce a result in conflict with other data used to infer the cosmic growth rate.

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