Europe Targets Black Holes with Next Big Space Mission

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Europe's next large-scale space mission will study supermassive black holes, gamma-ray bursts and other aspects of the high-energy universe. The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected the Athena X-ray observatory as its second "large-class" science mission. Athena — which will cost about 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion at current exchange rates) — is scheduled to blast off in 2028. The mission will address two main questions, ESA officials said: 1) How does "normal" (i.e., not dark) matter come together to form the universe's large-scale structure; and 2) How do black holes grow and shape their surroundings? More via

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