Thousands of Black Holes Surround the Heart of our Galaxy

(From NASA’s Image of the Day, June 19, 2020) Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of black holes located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This black hole bounty consists of stellar-mass black holes, which typically weigh between five to 30 times the mass of our Sun….

Astronomers Find the Closest Black Hole to Earth

(Via ESO) A team of astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other institutes has discovered a black hole lying just 1000 light-years from Earth. The black hole is closer to our Solar System than any other found to date and forms part of a triple system that can be seen with the naked…

This Blazing Quasar Got Wave Motion Gunned Clear Out Of Its Galaxy

Astronomers still have yet to directly capture an image of a black hole—they’re working on it—but they know where some of the largest ones are: inside the hearts of galaxies, where they power brilliant and powerful quasars whose light can be seen across the Universe. Some of these supermassive black holes (SMBs) can contain the mass…

Astronomers Witness a Star’s Blazing Death by Black Hole

  A star’s violent death by black hole has been spotted by researchers from the University of New Hampshire, using observations made by three orbiting x-ray space telescopes. Located in a small galaxy 1.8 billion light-years away, the event demonstrates what happens when a star gets too close to a supermassive black hole and gets torn apart,…

Carnival of Space 172

    Wow. It’s been quite an exciting week in astronomy, with the passing of NASA’s much-needed budget proposal, the preparation of the shuttle Discovery for its final flight, China’s successful launch of its second lunar mission just this past Friday… and, of course, the monumental announcement of the discovery of a potentially Earthlike planet…

This Week in Space

Buzz muses on the next steps for NASA (and his upcoming stint on “Dancing with the Stars”), the Space Coast braces for lay-offs, new proof of lunar ice, Discovery heads (slowly) to the launch pad, Mars’s potentially-hollow moon Phobos gets a close-up, revisiting a comet, windy black holes, blue marbles, icebergs and more on this…

Inside a Black Hole

Unlike the typical artist’s portrayal of a black hole as being surrounded by a massive glowing accretion disk of inwardly-swirling matter, like some sort of galactic bathtub drain, this scenario shows a rather naked-looking black hole exerting a lensing effect on the background field of stars. This is a result of a new simulator application…

Carnival of Space #140

Welcome! I’m very honored to host the 140th edition of Carnival of Space here on Lights in the Dark, especially considering that this week marks this site’s one-year anniversary! It’s really been a fascinating year for me. I’ve had a lot of fun finding and featuring images from the various missions exploring our solar system…from…