Merging galaxies can contain multiple active supermassive black holes

Japanese astronomers have learned that merging galaxies can contain at least a pair of active and luminous supermassive black holes. Typically, only one of the two black holes are activated like this, leading the astronomers to speculate that something unique is happening in the environment to get them going. » 1/29/14 9:00am 1/29/14 9:00am

An entirely new class of galaxy-escaping hypervelocity stars

Every once in a while, the Milky Way's supermassive black hole flings a wayward star into intergalactic space at speeds reaching 2 million miles per hour. But astronomers have now discovered a surprising new class of "hypervelocity stars" that can escape the galaxy — and they don't need the galactic core to do it. » 1/10/14 8:00am 1/10/14 8:00am

Astronomers watch as a gas cloud gets torn to shreds by a black hole

Two years ago, astronomers realized that a gas cloud was on a collision course with the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. The encounter has since taken place — and it was all recorded in real time. Here's how it all went down — and a stunning simulation to go along with it. » 7/18/13 12:20pm 7/18/13 12:20pm

A first: Astronomers measure radius of supermassive black hole

It took an array of four radio dishes positioned around the globe and an international team of astronomers to do it, but it was well worth the effort: Astronomers have measured the radius of a supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy that is 50 million light years away and 6 billion times more massive than our sun. » 9/28/12 2:00pm 9/28/12 2:00pm