Black holes are among the most enigmatic objects in the universe, and come in a variety of sizes, from several times the mass of the Sun to monsters with many billions of times the mass of the Sun (and maybe even atomic-sized ones). New advances in astrophysical instruments - with traditional electromagnetic observations as well as new ones using particles and gravitational waves - make this a golden age of black hole research. Recent findings from gravitational waves and the early universe are challenging traditional views.
Dr. Joe Pesce is an astrophysicist whose primary area of interest is in the external environments of the galaxies hosting supermassive black holes. He is currently a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, responsible for most of the Government's ground-based radio astronomy facilities.
The image is of the Milky Way Galaxy as seen over the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array west of Socorro, New Mexico. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Image courtesy NRAO/AUI/NSF, Jeff Hellerman.