black holes

The black hole that helps baby stars

Black holes are known as destructive forces in the universe, shredding stars and using immense gravity to pull in gas, dust and light. But astronomers have witnessed a black hole that is actually helping to nurture and spark the birth of baby stars across multiple galaxies more than one million light-years from its origin.

Black hole shredded a star

Since NASA's TESS satellite launched in April 2018, it's been identifying exoplanets and carrying on the planet-hunter legacy of the concluded Kepler mission. In order to find exoplanets, TESS is surveying stars -- and that's how it found the aftermath of a violent encounter.

Giant collisions shake the cosmos

In 1608, the German-Dutch lensmaker Hans Lippershey became the first person to apply for a patent for what we now call the telescope. By combining two lenses, he found that he could make distant objects appear closer than they are. While some lauded the invention for its military applications, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei turned the telescope to the heavens and opened a new eye on the cosmos. His observations overturned the existing astronomical beliefs of his time.