Sep 5, 2017

Our galaxy's giant black hole has a smaller sibling

NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)

By studying the motions of a particularly dense cloud of gas, astronomers have inferred the existence of a new black hole near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It's not confirmed yet, but it's estimated to weigh in at a whopping 100,000 times the mass of our sun.

That's big, but not the biggest — that title goes to Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole sitting in the middle of our galaxy that has a mass 4 million times greater than our sun.

Why it matters: This "intermediate" class of black hole provides clues to the formation of their bigger cousins. It seems that every galaxy hosts a giant black hole. How do these black holes form and grow? What's the connection between giant black holes and the evolution of their host galaxies? Having a "missing link" in our own backyard helps answer those questions.

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#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.

JPMorgan Chase to pull support for some fossil fuels

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.