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CBS Boston

CBS Boston spotlights how Andrea Ghez ’87 has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for her work discovering a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. “It really represents the basic research - you don’t always know how it is going to affect our lives here on Earth, but it is pushing the frontier of our knowledge forward," says Ghez, "both from the point of view of pure physics (understanding what a black hole is), and then also their astrophysical world in the formation and evolution of galaxies.”

The Boston Globe

Andrea Ghez ’87 has been selected as one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for her work advancing our understanding of black holes. "Black holes, because they are so hard to understand, is what makes them so appealing,'' says Ghez. “I really think of science as a big, giant puzzle.”

CBS News

Astronomers have found that the M87* black hole appears to be wobbling, reports Sophie Lewis for CBS News. “The wobbling is big news — it allows scientists to study the object's accretion flow,” writes Lewis. “Studying that region is key to understanding how the black hole and surrounding matter interact with the host galaxy.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter George Dvorsky writes that astronomers from the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, including MIT Haystack Observatory researchers, have studied the physical changes to M87* black hole and found that it appears to be wobbling. “With this paper, we’ve now entered into a new era of studying the intimate areas around black holes,” writes Dvorsky.

CBS Boston

Boston 25 spotlights how scientists from LIGO and Virgo have detected what may be the most massive black hole collision yet. “The result of the black holes colliding created the first-ever observed intermediate black hole, at 142 times the mass of the sun,” reports Boston 25.

The Verge

Scientists from LIGO and Virgo have detected the largest collision between two black holes to date, which appears to have created an “intermediate-mass” black hole, reports Loren Grush for The Verge. Intermediate-mass black holes, “are really the missing link between [black holes with] tens of solar masses and millions,” says Prof. Salvatore Vitale. “It was always a bit baffling that people couldn’t find anything in between.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter George Dvorsky writes about how researchers from MIT and other institutions have detected the corona of a supermassive black hole disappearing and then reappearing. Dvorsky writes that their findings suggest this “strange episode was caused by a runaway star.”

Popular Science

Popular Science namesAdvanced LIGO by MIT and CalTech (2016)” as one of the 20 best tech discoveries of the last decade. “LIGO has captivated people the world over, making them curious about esoteric subjects like the nature of space and origin of, well, everything.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Laura Krantz visits MIT’s Haystack Observatory to learn more about the place where scientists played a key role in developing the first image of a black hole and created a supercomputer used to compile the image. Krantz notes that researchers at Haystack also study the Earth, not-far-away planets, and stars, and are creating devices to track the decay of icebergs.

WBUR

Sky and Telescope editor Monica Young speaks with WBUR about how scientists from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories, including MIT researchers, may have detected a black hole colliding with a neutron star. Young explains that upgrades made to both observatories should enable investigation of not only individual cosmic events, but also the study of neutron stars and black holes as populations.

Science

Adrian Cho of Science magazine writes that the possible black hole-neutron star merger spotted by LIGO and Virgo would be a “gem for scientists,” but work remains to confirm the signal. Prof. Salvatore Vitale, a LIGO member from MIT, tells Cho: “If you ask me, ‘Would you bet a coffee, your car, or your house on this?’ I would say, ‘I’d bet your car.’”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Ryan Mandelbaum explores the five potential gravitational wave detections made by the LIGO and Virgo observatories in the last month. Prof. Salvatore Vitale explained that the possible detection of a black hole colliding with a neutron star could provide scientists with a better way to measure how quickly the universe is expanding.

Ars Technica

“LIGO/VIRGO has opened up its notification process to the public,” explains Ars Technica reporter John Zimmer. “In short, anyone who’s interested can find out what LIGO is seeing within a day of when the LIGO scientists themselves do.”

 

Space.com

The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors have identified five new cosmic events since resuming operations last month, reports Sarah Lewin for Space.com. “The most exciting thing of the beginning of O3 [this third observation round] is that it's clear we are going from one event every few months to a few events every month," explains Prof. Salvatore Vitale.

The Atlantic

Don Sousa, who coordinates shipments for the MIT Haystack Observatory, speaks with Atlantic reporter Marina Koren about the complex process of shipping petabytes of data from telescopes around the world to compile the first image of a black hole. Koren writes that for Sousa, “the photo is the culmination of years’ worth of effort by astronomers and shipping experts alike.”