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Peering Through the Fog of a Supermassive Black Hole

An artist's rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of...
An artist’s rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of the Milky Way(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Studying black holes is a tricky business, but not always because they’re so dim – to the contrary, in some cases it’s hard to see through the bright cloud of hot gas that surrounds them. Now, a team of astronomers has used a global array of telescopes to peer through that fog and capture some of the clearest radio images yet of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. And it may indicate that the object just happens to be pointing directly at Earth. read more

On a Collision Course with a Cloud

An artist's imagining of the night sky from Earth as the Milky Way collides with neighboring...
An artist’s imagining of the night sky from Earth as the Milky Way collides with neighboring galaxy Andromeda – a new study shows that the Large Magellanic Cloud will also smash into the Milky Way much sooner(Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger)

When we think of celestial threats to our planet, we usually think of big asteroids and comets, and maybe the odd gamma ray burst or supernova. What we probably wouldn’t think of is an entire galaxy bearing down on us, but according to a new study, that’s exactly what’s happening right now. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby dwarf galaxy, is on a collision course with the Milky Way, but there’s no need to worry just yet – the starry smashup won’t begin for another two billion years or so. read more

Black Holes in Center of Milky Way

Scientists have uncovered the first direct proof of black holes surrounding the supermassive black hole at...
Scientists have uncovered the first direct proof of black holes surrounding the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way(Credit: Alexmit/Depositphotos)

Scientists have long searched for proof of the decades-old theory that black holes surround the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* that lies at the heart of our galaxy.
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