News tagged with black holes

The search for medium-sized black holes

Black holes can be petite, with masses only about 10 times that of our sun—or monstrous, boasting the equivalent in mass up to 10 billion suns. Do black holes also come in size medium? NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic ...

Nov 27, 2013
5 / 5 (4) 0 | with audio podcast

Seeking proof for the no-hair theorem

According to general relativity, a black hole has three measurable properties: mass, rotation (angular momentum), and charge. That's it. If you know those three things, you know all there is to know about ...

Sep 09, 2014
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What would it be like to fall into a black hole?

Let's say you decided to ignore some of my previous advice. You've just purchased yourself a space dragon from the Market on the Centauri Ringworld, strapped on your favorite chainmail codpiece and sonic ...

Sep 08, 2014
3.4 / 5 (32) 17

Black hole thermodynamics

In the 1800s scientists studying things like heat and the behavior of low density gases developed a theory known as thermodynamics. As the name suggests, this theory describes the dynamic behavior of heat ...

Sep 10, 2014
4.8 / 5 (25) 17

Chandra's archives come to life

Every year, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory looks at hundreds of objects throughout space to help expand our understanding of the Universe. Ultimately, these data are stored in the Chandra Data Archive, ...

Oct 22, 2014
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How much of the universe is black holes?

We all fear black holes, but how many of them are there out there, really? Between the stellar mass black holes and the supermassive ones, just how much of our Universe is black holes?

Jun 17, 2014
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Black hole activity deduced from reflected X-rays

The supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*, is pretty quiet for a black hole. It does however flare up from time to time, when material is captured, as can be seen in ...

Oct 03, 2014
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Could we harvest energy from a star?

Our civilization will need more power in the future. Count on it. The ways we use power today: for lighting, transportation, food distribution and even entertainment would have sounded hilarious and far fetched ...

Feb 04, 2014
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How fast do black holes spin?

There is nothing in the Universe more awe inspiring or mysterious than a black hole. Because of their massive gravity and ability to absorb even light, they defy our attempts to understand them. All their ...

Feb 14, 2014
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The entropy of black holes

Yesterday I talked about black hole thermodynamics, specifically how you can write the laws of thermodynamics as laws about black holes. Central to the idea of thermodynamics is the property of entropy, which c ...

Sep 12, 2014
4.7 / 5 (20) 12

Can light orbit a black hole?

Since black holes are the most powerful gravitational spots in the entire Universe, can they distort light so much that it actually goes into orbit? And what would it look like if you could survive and follow ...

Mar 25, 2014
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