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Show: reporter Mike Wall writes that researchers have calculated a supermassive black hole’s rotation rate by analyzing the X-rays it emitted after consuming a nearby star. The researchers found that “the huge black hole, known as ASASSN-14li, is spinning at least 50 percent the speed of light.”


Gizmodo reporter Ryan Mandelbaum writes that researchers determined how fast a supermassive black hole spins by measuring a star being swallowed by the black hole. Postdoctoral fellow Dheeraj Pasham explains that, “this measurement is different in the sense that we were able to measure the spin of a black hole that was dormant.”

New Scientist

Prof. Sara Seager and her team are building a list of biosignatures - chemicals that could suggest the presence of life on other planets - in their search for extraterrestrial life, writes Joshua Sokol for New Scientist. Seager is “looking at all small molecules, not just the ones linked to life as we know it.”

Daily Mail

MIT researchers have found that the high temperature of intracluster gas, which condenses to form stars, may be hindering the development of new stars, reports Jonathan O’Callaghan for the Daily Mail. The researchers hope to use the new findings to better understand how stars form in surrounding galaxies. 

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal interviews Professor Sara Seager about her research and her search for extraterrestrial life. "We haven't been able to find the true Earth twin yet because it's so very hard to find. It's like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack," says Seager. 


“The goal of the simulation is to compare the actual cosmos — viewable via telescope — to the computer-created universe. The comparison will allow scientists to test if their theories on the creation of the universe work,” Salon reporter Sarah Gray writes of Illustris.

Scientific American

In an article posted on the Scientific American website, Elizabeth Gibney details the new computer model developed to simulate the Universe.


“The invisible web of dark matter and energy tying the universe together is recreated to the best of our knowledge, and the elements that make up stars and planets can be observed forming and coalescing,” Coldewey writes in an MSNBC article about Illustris.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Deborah Netburn writes about the computer model developed to model the universe. The model is so accurate that, “a mock observation of galaxies from the Illustris model could pass for an image taken by the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Space Telescope,” Netburn reports.


Wired reporter Adam Mann writes about Illustris, the new computer model developed to model the history of the universe. Illustris can handle all elements of the universe’s 330 million light-year span, Mann reports. 

BBC News

Pallab Ghosh reports for BBC News on the new computer model of the universe developed by researchers from MIT and other institutions around the world.

Associated Press

The Associated Press reports on the new computer model of the universe developed by a team of researchers led by MIT Professor Mark Vogelsberger.