Shocking Black Hole in M83

Composite image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the spiral galaxy M83 (diameter ~70% that of the Milky Way). Embedded near the center of this image is a stellar-mass black hole that bombards its surroundings with kinetic energy through hugely powerful jets. See pages 1318 and 1330.

Image: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); W. P. Blair (STScI/JHU)

Anyone wishing to use the cover of Science must contact AAAS to request permission to do so.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Black Holes Give Off Stronger Winds than We Thought

Black holes release more energy into their host galaxies than previously thought, a new study suggests. This finding will help astronomers better model the evolution of black holes over time, and it will also help them better understand these mysterious regions’ effects on their host galaxies.

Read more about this research from the 27 February issue of Science Express here.

[Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Black Holes Give Off Stronger Winds than We Thought

Black holes release more energy into their host galaxies than previously thought, a new study suggests. This finding will help astronomers better model the evolution of black holes over time, and it will also help them better understand these mysterious regions’ effects on their host galaxies.

Read more about this research from the 27 February issue of Science Express here.

[Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

X-Ray of Black Hole Reveals Gas Leaks

Scientists have X-rayed the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy at unparalleled resolution, and their results explain why this inescapable hole is so inefficient at absorbing the gas meant to sustain it.

Read more about this research from the 30 August issue of Science here.

[X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D. Wang et al.; IR: NASA/STScI. Click the image for more information.]

© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Black Hole ‘Mystery Structure’ in X-Ray Binary

New observations of an X-ray binary system may help expand current understanding of black hole accretion and jet collimation. Binary star systems consist of two stars that orbit around their common center of mass. X-ray binaries are a special type of binary system that emit X-rays and are made up of a normal star and a collapsed star (a black hole or neutron star). X-ray binaries can stay quiet for centuries, but occasionally the system can erupt, generating a burst of brightness that can be detected by X-ray telescopes.

This video, courtesy of Gabriel Perez Diaz at Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Servicio MultiMedia), and narrated by author Jesús Corral-Santana, discusses the X-ray binary system.

Read more about this research from the 1 March issue of Science here.

© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

"Magneto-Spin" Effect Near Black Holes

The region near a black hole’s horizon is much more dynamic and tempest-like than previously thought, a new study from Jonathan McKinney at Stanford University in Stanford, CA and colleagues reports.

Read more about this research from the 15 November issue of Science Express here.

[Visualization by Ralf Kaehler at KIPAC. Simulation by Jonathan McKinney at UMD; click the image for more information.]

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Spotted: A Short-Period Star Orbiting a Massive Black Hole


At the center of our galaxy lies a black hole four million times more massive than the Sun. Using data from the Keck Observatory, scientists have detected a star, named S0-102. The star orbits the black hole with a period of 11.5 years — the shortest period discovered so far. The previous record-holder was the star S0-2, discovered in the early ’90s, that orbits around the black hole every 16 years. The findings could help physicists test Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which predicts how gravity warps space and time.

Read more about this research from the 5 October issue of Science here.

[Click the image for more information. Image © Ethan Tweedie Photography]

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Special Section on Black Holes

Cover image: Illustration of the black hole in Cygnus X-1, a binary star system 6000 light-years away. A disk of stellar material feeds this black hole, which is 15 times as massive as the Sun but less than 60 kilometers across. As it falls toward the black hole, some of the material gets expelled in two opposite jets. A section highlighting recent research on black holes begins on page 535. For the story behind the cover, go to http://scim.ag/cov6094.

Anyone wishing to use the cover of Science must contact AAAS to request permission to do so.

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.