In another big science news story from the past few days, astronomers have found evidence of a supermassive black hole that appears to be much larger than is expected from theoretical models. The black hole in question lies at the center of a distant galaxy and is also quite old (9 billion years). There is a related arXiv paper here. This is well outside my field of expertise, but it looks like the idea is that this might be the first discovered in a new class of this sort of galaxy.
The New York Times has a long article on the “Event Horizon Telescope,” a project using a number of large telescope facilities to try to find conclusive evidence for the existence of the black hole believed to be at the center of the Milky Way. The article talks a bit about the science goals but also a lot on the history of such work and the people who do it. There are also some really nice images in the article and a couple related articles. Finding better evidence for black holes would be hugely important because it might let astronomers test some of the predictions of general relativity.
The BBC has an interesting recent post on what happens when you fall into a black hole. It mostly gives a rundown of various ideas about what happens (we can’t really test those ideas for obvious reasons). I don’t really know enough about general relativity to comment on the accuracy of the post, but I think they are correct when they say that if you fall into a large black hole, you don’t really notice anything, Nothing particularly special seems to happen at the event horizon to the object passing across the horizon. The more interesting idea here is that the black hole in some sense splits reality into two parts that can’t interact with one another (except perhaps through some quantum gravity effects).