Origin of supermassive black hole flares identified: Largest-ever simulations suggest flickering powered by magnetic ‘reconnection’

Astrophysicists have identified the mechanism that powers black hole flares. By employing computer simulations of unparalleled power and resolution, the researchers found that energy released near a black hole’s event horizon during the reconnection of magnetic field lines powers the flares. The findings hint at exciting new possibilities for observing the region just outside a…

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Supermassive Black Hole Triggered Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxy

Astronomers have observed the central regions of Henize 2-10, a dwarf starburst galaxy previously reported to have a central massive black hole, at optical wavelengths using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Henize 2-10 is located 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Pyxis…

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Wandering Supermassive Black Holes May Be More Abundant than Previously Thought

New research led by astronomers from the Harvard & Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics shows that the current census of supermassive black holes is incomplete and that a substantial population of off-center wanderers likely exists. Supermassive black holes are thought to exist at the center of most large galaxies, including the center of our own Milky…

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