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The clouds of the Milky Way. Photo: ESO/S. Brunier

Three scientists are sharing the Nobel Prize in physics this year for their work on the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Why it matters: The laureates — Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez — have created a more full theoretical and observational view of the inner workings of our galaxy.

Details: Penrose will receive half of the $1.1 million prize for his work that showed black holes are a natural consequence of Einstein's general theory of relativity, according to the Nobel Committee's announcement today.

  • Genzel and Ghez will split the other half of the prize for developing methods to peer through the dust of the Milky Way using powerful telescopes in an attempt to observe the center of our galaxy and understand the supermassive structure that likely lurks within it.
  • "[T]hese exotic objects still pose many questions that beg for answers and motivate future research," David Haviland, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, said in a statement.

Between the lines: Some claim the science prizes are out of touch, racist and sexist and have called on the organization to rethink how the prizes are awarded.

  • Ghez is only the fourth woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics.
  • "I hope that I can inspire other young women into the field," Ghez said during a press conference Tuesday.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Oct 13, 2020 - Science

Watching a star's death by black hole

Scientists have spotted a bright flash of light emitted by a star as it was destroyed by a black hole 215 million light-years away.

Why it matters: Black holes are some of the most extreme and difficult to study objects in the universe, and these types of rare events could help researchers piece together more about their nature.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.