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Black Holes Grow Big by Eating Stars

Most galaxies, including the Milky Way, have a supermassive black hole at their center weighing millions to billions of suns. But how do those...

Surprise: Dwarf galaxy harbors supermassive black hole

The surprising discovery of a supermassive black hole in a small nearby galaxy has given astronomers a tantalizing look at how black holes and galaxies may have grown in the early history of the Universe. Finding a black hole a million times more ma...

How often do giant black holes become hyperactive?

A new study from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory tells scientists how often the biggest black holes have been active over the last few billion years. This discovery clarifies how supermassive black holes grow and could have implications for ho...

Young-star discovery hints magnetism common to all cosmic jets

Astronomers have found the first evidence of a magnetic field in a jet of material ejected from a young star, a discovery that points toward future breakthroughs in understanding the nature of all types of cosmic jets and of the role of magnetic fie...

Cosmic curiosity reveals ghostly glow of dead quasar

New Haven, Conn. -- While sorting through hundreds of galaxy images as part of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project two years ago, Dutch schoolteacher and volunteer astronomer Hanny van Arkel stumbled upon a strange-looking object that baffl...

Astronomer leverages supercomputers to study black holes, galaxies

Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 14, 2010) -- An Ohio State University astronomer is working to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding the formation of vast galaxies and the evolution of massive black holes with his own large constellation of silicon waf...

Galactic super-volcano in action

A galactic "super-volcano" in the massive galaxy M87 is erupting and blasting gas outwards, as witnessed by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and NSF's Very Large Array. The cosmic volcano is being driven by a giant black hole in the galaxy's ...

Giant Cosmic Lens Reveals Secrets of Distant Galaxy

Using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope and helped by a gigantic cosmic lens conveniently provided by nature, an international team of astronomers has discovered that a young galaxy had a central disk of gas in which hundreds of new stars were being born every year -- at a time when the Universe was only a fraction of its current age.

Giant Radio Jet Coming From Wrong Kind of Galaxy

Giant jets of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of light have been found coming from thousands of galaxies across the Universe, but always from elliptical galaxies or galaxies in the process of merging -- until now. Using the combined power of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Array (VLA) and the 8-meter Gemini-South Telescope, astronomers have discovered a huge jet coming from a spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way.

Speeding star indicates mondo black hole in middle of Milky Way

Researchers say they've successfully tracked a star racing around a dark mass at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, offering strong support for the theory that a black hole is at the center of our little corner of space. Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics tracked the orbit of the closest known star to the black hole candidate Sagittarius A*, a dark mass 3,000,000 times the mass of the sun. Following the star for 10 years, they found that it does indeed orbit Sagittarius A*. Approaching the black hole's maw, the star reaches its highest velocity, whizzing past it at 5,000 kilometers per second.

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