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Binary black holes found verging on merging

22 April 2015 Keith Cooper

Twin black holes, so close that they are gravitationally bound and orbiting around one another in the final stages before they merge to form one colossal black hole, have been found in a quasar that existed around 10.3 billion years ago.

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Black holes may reveal what lies within

6 April 2015 Astronomy Now

The “information loss paradox” in black holes — a problem that has plagued physics for nearly 40 years, since Stephen Hawking first proposed that black holes could radiate energy and evaporate over time — may not exist, according to University at Buffalo scientists.

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Supermassive black hole blasts star-making gas from galaxy’s core

26 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Many galaxies blast huge, wide-angled flows of material outward from their centres, pushing to their outer edges enough dust and gas each year that otherwise would have formed more than a thousand stars the size of our Sun. A team led by University of Maryland scientists has found the driving force behind these massive molecular outflows.

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Ancient quasar with massive black hole found at cosmic dawn

25 February 2015 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has found a huge and ancient black hole which was powering the brightest object in the early universe. The black hole’s mass is 12 billion times that of the Sun, and was at the centre of a quasar that pumped out a million billion times the energy of our star.

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Galactic get-together has impressive light display

12 December 2014 Astronomy Now

NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are two colliding galaxies in the constellation of Ursa Major some 130 million light-years from Earth. Between them they have produced one of the most bountiful collections of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) known.

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Pulsar with black hole could hold the ‘holy grail’ of gravity

6 December 2014 Astronomy Now

The intermittent light emitted by a pulsar allows scientists to verify Einstein’s theory of relativity, especially when paired up with another neutron star that interferes with its gravity. According to researchers from Spain and India, this theory could be analysed much more effectively if a pulsar with a black hole were found.