News of the WeekAstrophysics

Rings of Light Could Reveal Black Holes

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2188
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5590.2188a

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Veteran astrophysicist John Wheeler has conjured a direct way to detect a black hole that might wander near our solar system. Sunlight would dance rings around the hole and return to Earth, briefly creating a flare in otherwise empty space. Searching for such an exceedingly rare vision might not be practical for decades, but the elegant analysis has delighted other physicists.