You are here

Black Hole

An object with such powerful gravity that nothing can escape from it, including light. The black hole’s mass is concentrated in a point of almost infinite density called a singularity. At the singularity itself, gravity is almost infinitely strong, so it crushes normal space-time out of existence. As the distance from the singularity increases, its gravitational influence lessens. At a certain distance, which depends on the singularity’s mass, the speed needed to escape from the black hole equals the speed of light. This distance marks the black hole’s “horizon,” which is like its surface. Anything that passes through the horizon is trapped inside the black hole. Black holes come in several varieties, depending on mass.


Black Holes May 21, 2010

Radio Programs

Doomed Companions Giant stars that are doomed September 4, 2023

Hercules A A black hole “powerhouse” August 31, 2023

Moaning Black Hole The sounds of a giant black hole August 6, 2023

Repeating a Meal A regular mealtime for a black hole August 5, 2023

Beauty and the Beast A cosmic “Beauty and the Beast” August 4, 2023

Black Hole ‘Acorns’ The “acorns” from which mighty black holes grow August 3, 2023

Flaring Up A doomed cloud near a massive black hole July 12, 2023

Strong Infant An infant star near a giant black hole July 11, 2023

Sombrero Galaxy Knowledge from a galactic sombrero May 31, 2023

Noisy Mergers Defying gravity — for a little while May 8, 2023

Data Factory Plunging into mounds of data April 27, 2023

Making a Giant Stirring up a beast of a galaxy April 20, 2023

The Sunflower A good night for watching galaxies March 22, 2023

Future Fireworks Future fireworks from the crab March 4, 2023

Close Black Hole Black holes get closer February 12, 2023

Brilliant Demise The brilliant demise of a star February 11, 2023

Galactic Remnant The possible heart of a dead galaxy December 22, 2022

The BOAT Tracking down the BOAT December 16, 2022

No Threat Staying away from deadly encounters September 29, 2022

Big Disruption A tasty meal for a big black hole September 28, 2022

A Big Collapse? Small explosions, big black holes September 27, 2022

Swift Kick A black hole that’s getting away August 23, 2022

SS 433 A “micro-quasar” in the eagle July 21, 2022

Noisy Cows Cows lowing in the cosmic meadows April 6, 2022

Black Holes Galore Black holes everywhere April 5, 2022

Dark Heart A small galaxy with a big black hole February 24, 2022

Megamasers Powering up some distant galaxies February 7, 2022

Hunting ‘Little’ Quasars Hunting for some “little” quasars October 28, 2021

VY Canis Majoris A brilliant, messy star October 11, 2021

September Equinox II Changes in the changing seasons September 23, 2021

Dark Monsters Darkness from darkness July 26, 2021

IC 10 X-1 A bright, dark star system July 22, 2021

Brighter Black Hole A big display by an underachiever July 7, 2021

A Wild Ride Going for a ride in the heart of the galaxy July 6, 2021

In the Middle Looking into the middle of the galaxy July 5, 2021

Black Holes Galore Black holes everywhere you look June 25, 2021

Cygnus X-1 A black hole gets heavier June 3, 2021

Looking for Wormholes Looking for passageways to other universes May 19, 2021

Black-Hole Planets Making planets around giant black holes May 5, 2021

IC 1101 The king of the mega-merger April 27, 2021

Uhuru Looking at the universe in a new way December 12, 2020

Monster Black Hole A super-supermassive black hole October 9, 2020

Closest Black Hole Digging up the closest black hole August 21, 2020

Sagittarius Cluster Extra black holes in a star cluster August 17, 2020

Galactic UFO A “UFO” from a giant black hole July 8, 2020

The Final Parsec Bridging the final parsec June 17, 2020

Black-Hole Weirdness Some black-hole weirdness June 16, 2020

Windy Black Holes Star-killing winds from black holes June 15, 2020

Giant Black Hole A dark heart for a giant galaxy February 10, 2020

Monoceros Outlining the celestial unicorn January 25, 2020

Black-Hole Generators Putting a black hole to work January 16, 2020

Death of a Star Watching the death of a star January 15, 2020

Accretion Disks Brightening up a black hole January 14, 2020

Heavy Merger “Jiggles” from a heavyweight merger November 27, 2019

Double Black Holes Not seeing double stars September 27, 2019

Black Holes Galore Black holes in the Milky Way September 26, 2019

BL Lacertae A black hole that’s ablaze September 16, 2019

V404 Cygni Studying a busy black hole August 28, 2019

Dark Mergers Fireworks from a “dark” merger August 22, 2019

Dark Companion Black holes in the heart of the galaxy July 31, 2019

Quiet Monster A quiet monster flares up July 30, 2019

Cygnus X-1 A giant star vanishes from view July 11, 2019

More Transients Explaining some bright flashes April 28, 2019

LIGO Whipping up space and time February 19, 2019

Monoceros The closest black hole February 11, 2019

Timing a Black Hole Delicate timing for a dead star October 26, 2018

Black-Hole Middleweight A middleweight black hole October 25, 2018

Stellar Disruption Pulling apart wayward stars October 24, 2018

Unlucky Stars Getting too close to black holes September 24, 2018

Making a Black Hole Making a little black hole September 14, 2018

Black Hole Bonanza Black holes by the hundreds August 31, 2018

New Telescope A new eye on the radio sky August 8, 2018

Building Big Black Holes Building bigger black holes June 26, 2018

Death-Ray Galaxy A death ray from a monster black hole June 10, 2018

Pulsars III Timing ripples in space and time November 29, 2017

Making Gold Making gold in the oddest of places November 6, 2017

V404 Cygni A binge-eating black hole September 1, 2017

Disappearing Star A potential firecracker fizzles out August 23, 2017

Black-Hole Blobs A black hole fires some rockets August 12, 2017

Black Hole Reality The reality about black holes July 26, 2017

Busy Merger A possible medium-size black hole May 10, 2017

Doomed Star A star faces a fate worse than death May 9, 2017

Jets Jetting off into the cosmos May 4, 2017

Middleweight Black Hole Evidence of a middleweight black hole April 27, 2017

Black-Hole Feast A black hole feasts on a big star April 26, 2017

Event Horizon Telescope Looking for a giant black hole April 4, 2017

Event Horizon Crossing an “eventful” horizon April 3, 2017

Quasars Looking deep into the universe March 15, 2017

Active Galaxies “Activating” the heart of a galaxy March 14, 2017

Super Supernovae II Explaining a brilliant explosion January 17, 2017

Featured Images

composite image of ngc 1275, a giant galaxy in the middle of the perseus cluster

Loud Black Hole August 6, 2023

big gas cloud is stretched by the gravity of the milky way galaxy's central black hole

Stretching Out July 12, 2023

sombrero galaxy

Brimmed Galaxy May 31, 2023

simulation depicting the merger of two neutron stars

Defying Gravity May 8, 2023

Radio image of SS 433, a micro-quasar powered by a black hole

Cosmic Corkscrews July 21, 2022

the first image of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy

Seeing the Darkness May 12, 2022

merging supermassive black holes

Double Down March 11, 2022

Coalescence June 30, 2021

artist's concept of cygnus X-1

Needy Companion June 3, 2021

magnetic field around supermassive black hole at center of galaxy m87

Doom Spiral March 26, 2021

The earliest known quasar in the universe

Early Starter January 15, 2021

A black hole rips apart a star

The Death of a Star October 14, 2020

Galaxies around a supermassive black hole in the early universe

Entwined in a Dusty Web October 1, 2020

Messier 22

Lightness and Darkness August 17, 2020

Two black holes prepare to merge

Getting Together July 2, 2020

Star Factory June 15, 2020

Paths of stars that pass close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy

Jumbled Stars April 18, 2020

Multi-wavelength view of Messier 106

Arming a Galaxy April 5, 2020

Abell 85

Heavyweights February 10, 2020

Accretion disk around a black hole

Circling Darkness January 14, 2020

Black hole begins to swallow a neutron star

Heavyweight Merger November 27, 2019

Simulation of two merging black holes

Double Darkness September 27, 2019

Time machines

Time to Ponder September 20, 2019

X-ray image of light echoes from V404 Cygni

Echoes of a Black Hole August 28, 2019

Artist's concept of Cygnus X-1

Bad Neighbor July 11, 2019

image of the black hole in the galaxy m87

First Look April 10, 2019

Hot Teacup March 17, 2019

X-ray views of the magnetar near the center of the galaxy

Galactic magnet March 6, 2019

Rippling Through Space February 19, 2019

Hubble Space Telescope view of NGC 6624

Home to a Black Hole? October 26, 2018

Artist's concept of two neutron stars merging to make a black hole

Violent Merger September 14, 2018

Black holes around a ring galaxy

Ring Around the Galaxy September 8, 2018

multi-wavelength view of 3c 321

Death-Ray Galaxy June 10, 2018

Quasar 3c 298

'Pushy' Black Hole February 26, 2018

HST view of 47 Tucanae

Star Globe May 9, 2017

A swirl of stars at the center of the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole

Looking for Darkness April 4, 2017

Artist's concept of 47 Tucanae X9, a likely black hole-white dwarf binary

Living Dangerously March 16, 2017

X-Ray image of VLA J2130+12

Slow Eater December 15, 2016

Swirling Galaxy December 3, 2016

Cosmic ray shower

Cosmic Showers November 28, 2016

Computer simulation of merging black holes

Dark Ripples June 30, 2016

Elliptical galaxy NGC 1600

Biggest of the Big June 28, 2016

Artist's concept of the galaxy WISE 2246

Evaporating Galaxy March 22, 2016

Strong winds blowing from a black hole in a distant spiral galaxy

Windy Black Hole January 15, 2016

The odd galaxy NGC 660

Busy Galaxy December 18, 2015

Hubble view of galaxy Markarian 231

Double Double November 22, 2015

X-ray energy forms expanding rings around the black hole V404 Cygni

Big Gulp Aftermath September 15, 2015

G2 survives its swing around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way

Narrow Escape March 27, 2015