Astrophysicists discover why black holes and neutron stars shine bright

Researchers find what causes the glow coming from the densest objects in our universe.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester (Arizona State University)
  • Columbia University astrophysicists discovered the cause of the unusual glow coming from regions of space with black holes and neutron stars.
  • The researchers ran some of the largest computer simulations ever to reach their conclusions.
  • They found that turbulence and reconnection of super-strong magnetic fields are responsible for the light.
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Astronomers spot only the 2nd interstellar object ever seen

An amateur astronomer discovers an interstellar comet on its way to our Sun.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • The comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was spotted by an amateur astronomer.
  • The object is moving so fast, it likely originated outside our solar system.
  • The comet should be observable for another year.
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Astronomers find a planet so hot it's streaming metals into space

This exoplanet is 10 times hotter than any world we measured and shaped like a football.

NASA/ESA/J. Olmsted/STScI
  • Astronomers study the exoplanet planet WASP-121b that's known as a "hot Jupiter."
  • The planet is so hot, metals like iron and magnesium stream off its surface.
  • The find is the latest accomplishment using the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Confirmed: The Milky Way's monstrous black hole

A young star and a belt of gasses give the game away.

(Triff/ESO/Big Think)
  • Scientists have provided the first confirmation that what's at the center of the Milky Way is a supermassive black hole.
  • The discovery caught the interaction of gasses and a small star spinning around the mysterious object.
  • This is thought to be compelling proof of the black hole's central role in a galaxy.
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The 14 Greatest Discoveries of the Cassini–Huygens Telescope

The Cassini-Huygens telescope has spent the better part of the last two decades finding out more about our galaxy than we could possibly dream of. Here's 14 of the coolest things it has found out. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI via Getty Images

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