Black holes break theories. These sites of extremely large masses in extremely small spaces invoke both of the behemoths of modern physics—general relativity (which rules over large masses) and quantum mechanics (which reigns in small spaces).
The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the "shadow" that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast.
We live a mere 93 million miles from an enormous fusion reactor. It’s easy to overlook this, after all the Sun is only about halfway through its long slog of converting protons into helium nuclei deep inside its core.
A successful simulation lends weight to the standard model of cosmology
Astronomers exploit a remarkable supermassive black hole binary system to measure the primary black hole's spin
Before they can see Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, the astronomers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) must complete an epic to-do list.
This video made me laugh harder than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Okay, except for some Louis CK videos. But for a non-comedian (allegedly)… this is hard to beat.
Mysterious light at the center of the milky way could be our first look at dark particles
Two black holes merging can cast off a few percent of their total mass as gravitational waves in just minutes, sending the final object off on a high-speed journey through the universe
We live on a spinning and orbiting world, but we don't usually think about our other, greater motions through the cosmos—maybe we should
Since quite early in the history of the discovery of planets around other stars it’s been apparent that the likelihood of certain types of planets around a star is related to the abundance of heavy elements in that system.
The largest stars die in explosions more powerful than anyone thought possible—some triggered in part by the production of antimatter
The world has heard the first faint whispers of the most powerful cataclysms in the universe. Scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe—the first time scientists have found neutrinos coming from outside our own solar [...]
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Jake VanderPlas, a data scientist who worked on the Graphic Science illustration in the October issue of Scientific American magazine.
Small differences in oxygen-isotope ratios have been used to support the big-smash theory
The black hole has a troublesome sibling, the naked singularity. Physicists have long thought—hoped—it could never exist. But could it?
Hubble has uncovered a goldmine of young dwarf galaxies that are undergoing intense bursts of star formation. Dwarf galaxies are the most common in the universe but until now astronomers had seen few examples of distant dwarf galaxies because they are small and not very bright.
On occasion, concept sketch submissions make me swoon. Most often, the happy-making sketch comes from a freelance illustrator that has been commissioned to flesh out a specific information graphic for us.
Physicists cast doubt on a landmark experiment’s claim to have observed gravitational waves from the big bang
Traces of primordial gravitational waves could tell us how and when the early universe went through its precipitous expansion