Simulation of material orbiting close to a black hole. (Image: Foto: ESO / Gravity Consortium / L. Calçada)

What Exactly Is a Black Hole?

What is a black hole? In an article that has just appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy, LMU philosopher Erik Curiel shows that physicists use different definitions of the concept, depending on their own particular fields of interest. A black…

What's the coldest place you can think of?  (Image: NASA)

The Coolest Experiment in the Universe

What’s the coldest place you can think of? Temperatures on a winter day in Antarctica dip as low as −120ºF (−85ºC). On the dark side of the Moon, they hit −280ºF (−173ºC). But inside NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory on the…

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Hubble’s Dazzling Display of 2 Colliding Galaxies

Located in the constellation of Hercules, about 230 million light-years away, NGC 6052 is a pair of colliding galaxies. They were first discovered in 1784 by William Herschel and were originally classified as…

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What Exactly Is a Black Hole?

What is a black hole? In an article that has just appeared in the journal Nature Astronomy, LMU philosopher Erik Curiel shows that physicists use different definitions of the concept,…

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The Coolest Experiment in the Universe

What’s the coldest place you can think of? Temperatures on a winter day in Antarctica dip as low as −120ºF (−85ºC). On the dark side of the Moon, they hit…

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X-ray Pulse Detected Near Event Horizon

On Nov. 22, 2014, astronomers spotted a rare event in the night sky: A supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy, nearly 300 million light-years from Earth, ripping…

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Citizen Scientists Find New World With NASA Telescope

Using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, citizen scientists have discovered a planet roughly twice the size of Earth located within its star’s habitable zone, the range of orbital distances where…

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Gaia Spots a ‘Ghost’ Galaxy

An international team of astronomers, including from the University of Cambridge, discovered the massive object when trawling through data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. The object, named Antlia…

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Black Holes Act Like Giant Particle Accelerators

Physicists have known that supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, also known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs), produce the ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) detected on Earth. However, the mechanism behind…