David Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, took the podium at the National Press Building in Washington, DC, this morning, and said the words we’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to hear: “We have discovered gravitational waves.” And a packed auditorium in Caltech’s Cahill building in Pasadena—where…
The rumors were true! This morning leaders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves. In honor of this momentous discovery, the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, is hosting a live webcast today at 1pm EST: “Ripple Effects: A…
It’s official: we’ve directly detected gravitational waves. And unless you happen to be a PhD physicist, you probably have a few questions. Gizmodo is here to help.
Now you can watch as well as listen as world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking expounds upon his latest ideas about the knotty black hole information paradox, playfully illustrated by chalkboard artist Andrew Park.
What’s this, you ask? Oh, it’s nothing. Just a supermassive black hole blasting a giant x-ray beam over a 300,000 light year-wide gulf of intergalactic space.
Black holes are some of the most powerful but difficult to comprehend objects in the universe, operating mysteriously and practically invisibly out of the reach of our sight. Until now, that is.
This is the Andromeda galaxy, our very own Milky Way’s next-door neighbor. It’s the best look we’ve ever managed to get at it—and there’s something very strange hidden in this picture.
Black holes don’t emit light, but they still shine. They do so because of accretion disks, but those disks don’t appear around black holes of all sizes. There could be incredibly huge black holes out in the universe that we can’t see, because they’ve gone really dark.
Black holes are some of the strangest objects in the universe. But, just as impenetrable a mystery? The heavy cloud cover encircling some black holes. Now, for the first time, researchers say they’ve managed to get a glimpse inside of one of those clouds. And what they found has some serious implications for our most…
You’ve heard it before: In space, no one can hear you scream. That’s because sound doesn’t move through a vacuum, and everyone knows that space is a vacuum. The thing is, that’s not completely true.
When a star wanders too close to a black hole, immense gravitational forces begin to rip it apart in an epic cosmic slaying called a “tidal disruption event.” Some of the star’s mass is flung outward into space, while the rest is drawn in, triggering a powerful flare that showers the sky with x-rays.
One of the trickiest black hole concepts to grasp is also one of their most basic: Black holes don’t give off any light, so how do we still manage to “see” something that is functionally invisible? Here’s a tidy explanation of how that paradox works.
When scientists spotted this pair of black holes, it was a rare chance to observe black holes in the process of colliding. Soon, however, as they looked closer, scientists were consumed with a brand new question: Uh, hey, what’s that blinking light?
Three and a half billion light years away in the Virgo constellation, two supermassive black holes are on the verge of smacking into one another. In 100,000 years, their cosmic collision will send ripples across the fabric of spacetime.
You don’t need to be a professional astronomer to find black holes. Here’s how you can spot one, using just your laptop or phone.
In the distant reaches of the Universe, exploding stars and supermassive black holes are bending the very fabric of spacetime. It’s hard to wrap our brains around such tremendous forces, but we may be able to quantify them, in the form of gravitational waves. A new European Space Agency mission marks humanity’s first…
Six hundred million light years away, a pair of black holes spiral furiously about one another at the brilliant core of a starburst galaxy.
Black holes have a rap for being hopeless vortexes of destruction, but what would really happen if you fell into one? According to Stephen Hawking, you might end up in another universe.
There’s a lot going on in this brand new X-ray view of our galaxy’s center—but just what does all that sound, fury, and color mean?