We’ve received a birth announcement from 20 million light years away, in the form of our first ever glimpse of what seems to be the birth of a black hole. A team led by Christopher Kochanek at Ohio State University in Columbus have glimpsed something very special in data from the Hubble Space Telescope, from when it was watching the red supergiant star N6946-BH1, which is about 20 million light years from Earth.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope is a trooper. Even with a broken positioning system, the telescope just discovered 104 new planets, including four Earth-like planets in the same solar system.
A study published this week in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series describes the largest haul of planets so far during K2, Kepler’s second mission. Kepler was originally designed to look at a very tiny area of space, but it was repurposed to look at a wider area when part of its positioning system broke in 2013.