Black Holes | St. Louis Public Radio

Black Holes

A large balloon used by scientists to carry an x-ray telescope into the Earth's stratosphere in December 2018.
X-Calibur Research Team

Just before the new year, a Washington University professor was among a group of scientists who launched a telescope from Antarctica that could observe bright, massive objects in space, like black holes.

The international team of researchers, which included Wash U physics professor Henric Krawczynski, wanted to collect data on black holes and neutron stars, a very dense collapsed core of a giant star.

Studying such celestial phenomena helps astrophysicists test the fundamental laws of physics, Krawczynski said.

Provided by Henric Krawczynski

A giant balloon will soon provide scientists at Washington University in St. Louis a view of black holes in the Milky Way galaxy.

Researchers will launch the 40 million cubic foot unmanned balloon, carrying an X-Ray telescope named X-Calibur, this month from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M. The payload will ascend 126,000 feet into the stratosphere, which is about four times the cruising altitude of commercial airplanes.