Dec 10, 2019

NASA photo reveals star formation sparked by distant supermassive black hole

Photo: X-ray: NASA/CXC/INAF/R. Gilli et al.; Radio NRAO/VLA; Optical: NASA/STScI

A supermassive black hole's influence can stretch far beyond its immediate surroundings.

What's happening: A newly released photo from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes reveals a black hole in the middle of a galaxy 9.9 billion light-years from Earth that's spurring on star formation in four other galaxies around it, according to a new study in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Details: A radio jet emitted by the black hole likely heated up a bubble of hot gas, causing it to expand and creating a shock wave that sparked star formation in other galaxies.

  • Scientists have found plenty of examples of black holes that impede star formation, but this is one of the first examples of a supermassive black hole that's actually instigating it, NASA said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Exclusive poll: Black Americans motivated by Trump to vote in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A majority of black Americans are more interested in voting in the 2020 presidential election than they were in 2016, according to a national survey of 1200 black voters and non-voters conducted by Third Way and the Joint Center.

Why it matters: Black voter turnout declined significantly in 2016 nationally and in key swing states, ultimately contributing to Hillary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump. New details from focus groups and polling suggests that the motivation to remove Trump from office is firing up black Americans to head to the polls next November.

Go deeperArrowDec 30, 2019

In photos: The moments that defined a decade

Obama, Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and national security team members in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1, 2011, during the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Photo: Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images

The 2010s were marked by terrorism, major natural disasters, huge political upheaval and, in the U.S. in particular, political polarization.

Zoom in: The decade began with Democratic President Obama, political gridlock in the Republican-controlled Congress and surging partisanship. It's closing with Republican President Trump impeached by the Democratic-controlled House. A bright spot has been the the U.S. economy, which has steadily improved since the financial crisis of the previous decade.

See photosArrowUpdated Dec 29, 2019

Hubble telescope photographs galaxy 2.5 times wider than the Milky Way

Photo: NASA/ESA/B. Holwerda (University of Louisville)

A new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope shows off a spiral galaxy located 232 million light-years away and thought to be the largest in our known, local universe.

Why it matters: The galaxy, named UGC 2885, is about 2.5 times wider than our galaxy and contains 10 times more stars.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020