A pair of ‘dancing’ black holes has been spotted circling each other for the first time

It might seem an unfathomably large distance, but in the scale of the Universe, 24 light years is a mere stone’s throw. Now, two supermassive black holes have been spotted circling each other at this distance, marking a closer pairing than ever seen before.

black hole binary system consists of two black holes orbiting each other, driven by their respective gravitational pulls.

For the first time, astronomers have been able to make out both objects in this kind of system, using a collection of telescopes called the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA).

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Stephen Hawking’s strange law of entropy is making atoms on Earth act like black holes


A bizarre discovery has revealed that cold helium atoms in lab conditions on Earth abide by the same law of entropy that governs the behaviour of black holes.

The law, first developed by Professor Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein in the 1970s, describes how the entropy, or the amount of disorder, increases in a black hole when matter falls into it. In particular, it explains that entropy only increases when the surface area of the black hole changes, not the volume. It is like measuring how many files there are in a filing cabinet based on the surface area of the drawer, rather than how deep

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Planets, black holes, quasars and more: space terms explained

Space is a fascinating place, filled with unimaginably large and complex structures often undergoing dramatic changes.

These can teach us about the laws of physics at the biggest scale and the history of the Universe, but jargon can often get in the way of understanding the mesmerising physics. To make it a little easier to understand, WIRED explains the glossary of space terms.

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