The Cygnus X-1 system is one of the brightest sources of X-rays in the Milky Way, consisting of a black hole called Cygnus X-1 and its giant companion, a star packing 41 times the mass of our Sun. Researchers recently measured the polarization of those X-rays to better understand the geometry of...

Space is unrelenting in its expanse and grandeur; in the observable universe alone we’ve imaged billions of objects, but so many remain unexamined. Over the last 10 years, the Dark Energy Camera alone has imaged about 2.5 billion objects, such as galaxies, stars, dwarf planets, and supernovae,...

On a clear night, it’s possible to see our entire galactic neighborhood from Earth. You need the right conditions: very little light (which is why so few stars are visible in cities), and it’s ideal to be high up, so that there’s not much atmosphere getting in the way of your view. Recently,...

The Event Horizon Collaboration, the group behind the first-ever image of a black hole, just achieved another huge accomplishment: an image of Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This is a breakthrough in our understanding of our home galaxy and the astrophysics of its...

A new video from NASA shows what it looks like when a star is caught in the powerful gravity of a black hole. In these binary systems, the doomed stars spin around the black holes, which steadily suck up gas from them. The visualization illustrates the variety of these parasitic partnerships in...

A new video from NASA shows what it looks like when a star is caught in the powerful gravity of a black hole. In these binary systems, the doomed stars spin around the black holes, which steadily suck up gas from them. The visualization illustrates the variety of these parasitic partnerships in...

A new video from NASA shows what it looks like when a star is caught in the powerful gravity of a black hole. In these binary systems, the doomed stars spin around the black holes, which steadily suck up gas from them. The visualization illustrates the variety of these parasitic partnerships in...

A new video from NASA shows what it looks like when a star is caught in the powerful gravity of a black hole. In these binary systems, the doomed stars spin around the black holes, which steadily suck up gas from them. The visualization illustrates the variety of these parasitic partnerships in...

A team of astronomers recently observed an askew black hole just 10,000 light-years from Earth. The black hole’s spin axis is out of alignment with the plane of debris orbiting it by at least 40 degrees, the most extreme misalignment of its kind yet seen by astronomers. Read...

Through a standard telescope, the nearby galaxy NGC 7727 looks like a gossamer tumbleweed drifting in the night sky. But within it are two supermassive black holes locked in a dance that will end with their violent merger. As a team of astronomers recently found, these objects are closer to Earth...

Through a standard telescope, the nearby galaxy NGC 7727 looks like a gossamer tumbleweed drifting in the night sky. But within it are two supermassive black holes locked in a dance that will end with their violent merger. As a team of astronomers recently found, these objects are closer to Earth...

Some 230 million light-years from Earth, there’s a black hole going places. These extraordinarily dense objects are usually found sitting at the center of a galaxy violently gobbling up matter, so it was a surprise when astronomers spotted this one moving out of step with its resident galaxy.Read...