A Nasa picture of a black hole outburst. Photo: AFP

Astrophysicist Wang Jianmin offers new way to measure universe

Astrophysicist Wang Jianmin knew the odds as he scrutinised the radiation from the vicinity of black holes. Black holes are so gravitationally hungry that not even photons can escape their grip at the speed of light, but the glare from their accompanying quasars can be so bright, so stable and so long-lived that astronomers hope one day to use them as candles to measure the size of the universe.