First-Ever Photo of a Supermassive Black Hole

Truly a quantum leap, astronomers have “seen the unseeable” and captured an image of a supermassive black hole—a “smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity,” Dennis Overbye writes for the New York Times. A planet-sized network of eight radio telescopes—called the Event Horizon Telescope—peered through interstellar dust and gas to reveal the black hole, located in a galaxy called Messier 87, which exists some …

First All-Women Spacewalk Ever

Since 1998, there have been 213 spacewalks at the International Space Station and only 11% of the more than 500 crew members involved have been women. But on the next walk, scheduled for 29 March, the team will be entirely comprised of women—from the astronauts completing the actual walk (Christina Koch and Anne McClain) to the those giving ground support (Mary Lawrence and Kristen Facciol). …

300,000 Possible Galaxies Discovered

A project helmed by an international team of astronomers has resulted in the discovery of some 300,000 “previously unseen light sources” that are believed to be distant galaxies. This new map of the night sky was revealed using the incredibly powerful Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope, with many of the light sources sending radio signals for billions of light years until they reach Earth. (One …