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Heaviest pair of supermassive black holes ever measured will someday collide, astronomers report

Black holes are some of the most powerful, destructive and massive objects in the known universe, devouring stars at unimaginable speeds and ripping them apart with such ferocity that they discharge luminous flares visible from millions of lightyears away. When black holes collide into each other, they produce gravitational waves, as scientists learned in 2015 after recording a pair of stellar-mass black holes colliding for the first time....

Originally posted on salon.com

New Moon research yields tantalizing clues about its geological history

The Moon has a long, chaotic geological history almost as old as Earth itself. Every crater, rock and speck of dust on the Moon tells a story, but because it’s not exactly close to our planet, this history is a little harder to study than say, the Grand Canyon.

Astronomers theorize that Moon craters were formed from celestial objects like asteroids and comets crashing into its surface....

Originally posted on salon.com

Puzzling new planet is too big for its sun, challenging dominant theories of planet formation

It’s difficult to fathom how much bigger the Sun is than our little planet. Even though it’s just an average-sized star, you could squeeze 1.3 million Earths inside it. But planets in other solar systems don’t always have such a massive size difference, as detailed in an intriguing new report in the journal Science, which describes the discovery of a planet named LHS 3154b....

Originally posted on salon.com

Three-body solution: These massive blue stars may not be duos, but threesomes instead

Be stars are weird. They are rapidly rotating stars about 4 to 18 times larger than the sun, but a pleasing blue color surrounded by discs of gas, not unlike the rings of Saturn. They spin so fast that they approach “critical velocity” or the point where they would otherwise blast apart due to centrifugal force overpowering the star’s gravity....

Originally posted on salon.com