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black holes

  1. #BlackHoleFriday, Your Sciencey Alternative to Black Friday Chaos

    So holey

    Stores everywhere were chaos as usual this Friday, but space has got us beat for epicness. NASA took Black Friday and used it as the jumping-off point for their second annual #BlackHoleFriday. Fun facts and awesome-in-the-truest-sense-of-the-word photos abounded.

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  2. Despite What You May Have Heard, Black Holes Haven’t Exactly Been Disproven

    Rumors of black holes' deaths have been greatly exaggerated.

    New mathematical calculations by Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor and theoretical physicist at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, show that black holes may not actually exist! Amazing, right? Well, yes, it is amazing, but that doesn't make it a fact.

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  3. Supermassive Black Hole Found In Tiniest Galaxy Yet

    Black holes and revelations.

    Supermassive black holes are known for hanging around the centers of large galaxies and keeping us all in orbit, but a new find suggests they might be at the center of much smaller galaxies, as well, which raises questions about how they got there. A tiny nearby galaxy appears to host one of these massive black holes, which means we could find a lot more of them out there.

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  4. Scientists Know How Black Holes Pass Gas at Super High Speeds, Eating Beans Finally Ruled Out

    So they've discovered the super burrito, then?

    Supermassive black holes are the enormous, hungry gravitational centers of our galaxies, but eating all of that matter leaves them a little gassy. So gassy, in fact, that they eject streams of molecular hydrogen (two hydrogen molecules bound together) at speeds of 1 million kilometers per hour. Much like farting is a normal part of your body's healthy function, so the gas passed by black holes is important to galaxy evolution, and now scientists know how they work.

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  5. Is It Possible for Light to Orbit a Black Hole?

    Why don't we just fly to a black hole and check?

    Isaac Newton did a thought experiment that was demonstrated in the last episode of Cosmos. If you fire a cannon, gravity pulls the ball to the Earth. If you can fire the ball with enough energy, it would orbit the Earth instead of falling. What if you replace the Earth with a black hole and the cannonball with light? Will it orbit?

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  6. Radio Galaxy Zoo Allows Anyone To Search for Black Holes On Their Computer

    Because space is really, vastly, mind-bogglingly big.

    Man, what did people do on long bus rides before crowdsourced science projects were a thing? Just sit on their hands and wonder about all the science they could be doing? If you've got an Internet connection and a laptop, though, then you can make your science exploration dreams a reality with Radio Galaxy Zoo.

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  7. Mysterious Flashes on Radio Telescopes Might Be Waves From Massive Stars Collapsing Into Black Holes

    Sure, that's just what the aliens want you to think.

    Radio telescopes have been picking up some unusual flashes in the sky that appear for just moments without repeating, and scientists haven't been able to figure out why. This is pretty worrisome, because unusual changes in radio signals from space is basically how every alien invasion movie ever made begins. Don't start welcoming our future overlords yet, though -- according to an article in this week's issue of Science, these flashes might be the final farewell greetings of a supramassive neutron star collapsing into a black hole. Weirdly, it's kind of nice to know that even dying stars do not go gently into that good night. Well, that and it's a huge relief that it's not invading aliens. I mean, that we know of yet.

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  8. Ultramassive Black Holes Are Bigger, More Numerous, More Terrifying Than Previously Thought

    Frak

    Black holes. They destroy everything that crosses their path. They're difficult for scientists to observe and understand. They can fling people and objects back in time, starting an alternate timeline that results in the destruction of an entire species. Wait, no, that's the setup for Star Trek. But black holes are still really scary. And now scientists have discovered that the largest black holes in the universe are even scarier than previously thought.

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  9. NASA WISE Mission Finds Millions of New Black Holes, 1,000 Superhot Galaxies For Good Measure

    NASA was teasing some big news about black holes yesterday, and this afternoon, we know what that is. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope has found millions of black holes dotting the universe, as well as more than 1,000 of the brightest galaxies ever observed, which have gone unobserved until now because they are shrouded with dust that has hidden them from view. This despite the galaxies in question being as much as 100 trillion times brighter than our Sun.

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  10. NASA May Have Found the Smallest Known Black Hole

    Using data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, an international team of astronomers has identified what could be the smallest known black hole. The astronomers found what is considered a black hole "heartbeat," a type of X-ray pattern, named as such due to its resemblance to an electrocardiogram. The binary system where the black hole was found, named IGR J17091-3624, consists of a normal star and a black hole that weighs less than three times the mass of our sun, which just so happens to be near what is thought to be the boundary where black holes are even possible.

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