In 1963, astronomer Maarten Schmidt identified the first quasi-stellar object or “quasar,” an extremely bright but distant object. He found the single quasar, the active nucleus of a far-away galaxy known to astronomers as 3C 273, to be 100 times more luminous than all the stars in our Milky Way combined. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2′); }); Now, the GRAVITY international team of astronomers, including Prof. Hagai Netzer of Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, have concluded that gas clouds rapidly moving around a central black hole form the very heart of this quasar. The results of the new research were published in Nature on November 29. The first measurement of the mass of the black hole inside 3C 273, using an older method, was conducted at the TAU’s Florence and George Wise Observatory in 2000, as part of Ph.D. research conducted by TAU’s Dr. Shai Kaspi, then a student in Prof. Netzer’s group. This result has now been corroborated by GRAVITY’s observations. The research is the first detailed observation outside of our galaxy of gas clouds whirling around a...