Science fiction doesn’t exist to make movies about the stuff we know about—it explores the unknown physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry where real uncertainty about topics can lead to compelling, believable stories. That’s what makes black holes such a popular subject; light can’t escape them, maybe they’re…
The scenario seems impossible. A black hole randomly passing into our solar system. If it happened, it would obviously be bad, which is why it’s the perfect subject for a big Hollywood disaster film. But will Hollywood’s representation match the reality? An astrophysics researcher told us, for the most part, yes.
Earlier this year, Japan launched a groundbreaking black-hole-monitoring satellite—only to lose control of it almost immediately under strange circumstances. Now, we finally can see what Hitomi did right before it died.
One of the most incredible things about black holes is how much bigger they are than almost anything else out there. Now, a new image taken at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory shows that we’ve been totally wrong about how they manage to grow so large.
This rainbow splatter might not look like the beautiful images of galaxies you’re used to seeing, but it’s actually rather special. It’s the highest angular resolution astronomical image ever captured, and it shows a jet of matter erupting out of a black hole 900 million light years away.
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…
Two theories, from the always knowledgable Kurz Gesagt: you die a quick death or you die a very quick death. No one knows for sure but you probably don’t want to be the first person to find out. If you do, you’ll notice that time moves slower inside the black hole. But once you’re in though, you can only go in one…
Philip K. Dick has had a huge influence on science fiction literature—but it’s pretty rare that you read a new book that manages to channel Dick’s paranoid, reality-warping mojo. So Black Hole by Bucky Sinister is a delight for all kinds of reasons. Spoilers ahead...
A black hole isn’t the energy sink you might think it is. By hurling matter towards a black hole, it might be possible to get energy out of it. Learn how a spinning black hole could be an energy turbine for an entire civilization.
“Here be dragons” was a phrase once used on ancient maps, often accompanied by mythical sketches, to highlight an unexplored or potentially dangerous area. Astronomers might want to borrow this warning to label the centre of galaxies, which contain supermassive black holes.
What you’re seeing is V404 Cygni, a binary system consisting of a star and a black hole, some 7800 light-years away. It has lain quiet for the last 25 years, but a week ago, NASA’s Swift satellite noticed a burst of new activity.
Between rainbows, rings, and sharp, hard lines, it’s difficult to not clap my hands in glee while unpacking the levels of awesome crammed in this X-ray image of Circinus X-1. The beautiful bullseye light echoes hint this neutron star is farther, brighter, and more like a black hole than we thought.
This woman totally seems like she has harnessed the power of a black hole and can suck up all the light and everything around her. But it's just a nice little camera trick showing swinging burning steel wool in reverse. The light flies to her as she twists and turn but in reality, it's just being flung away. Still…
The mysterious celestial objects called quasars are some of the brightest objects in our universe. Quasars are actually galaxies with powerful black holes at their centers, sucking in matter and spitting out gouts of x-rays that create a massive, broiling-hot cloud.
The Chandra X-ray observatory has been observing the universe in X-ray wavelengths for fifteen years. The space telescope's scientific highlights gallery has so much gorgeous X-ray goodness that it's hard to pick favourites. Need to be swept away by the sheer beauty of space? We've got you covered.
It's official: The most exciting new genre shows on network TV are based on comics. iZombie, Constantine, Flash, Gotham... But the networks are just scratching the surface of what's out there. Here are 10 comics that are crying out to become television shows right now.
When two neutron stars collide, they viciously shred each other before merging into a black hole punctuated by a gamma ray burst. A new supercomputer simulation sets a mismatched pair of neutron stars in a death-spiral to investigate the process. The merger completes in seconds, ringed by a halo of diffuse gas.
The Royal Observatory of Greenwich, England, has crafted three simple animations to explain three very complex things: What's inside a black hole, how do we know the age of the sun—did you know the Sun weighs 4,000 trillion trillion hippopotamuses?—and how big is the Universe.
According to physicists, there are three, er, two and a half different theories on how a person would die if they got sucked in by a black hole: stretched like a spaghetti noodle, burnt like a toast and maybe even scrambled. Nova PBS explains that if the argument on how people would die if swallowed by a black hole…
You're looking at a black hole so massive and powerful that it destroys the stars around it before they can even form.