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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Great pumpkinsToday’s Spotlight features a photograph, taken by Michael Greshko, of pumpkins from the 2014 Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale.

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch is an annual installation of over 2,000 handblown glass pumpkins, created by artists from the MIT Glass Lab. Proceeds from this event benefit The MIT Glass Lab, where the MIT community can learn and practice the art of glassblowing.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
A burst of activity

A burst of activity

Today’s Spotlight features an image from NASA/JPL Caltech/S. Stolovy, of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The brightest white spot in the middle is the very center of the galaxy, which also marks the site of a supermassive black hole.

As black holes go, Sagittarius A* is relatively low‑key. The black hole at the center of our galaxy emits very little energy for its size, giving off roughly as much energy as the sun, even though it is 4 billion times as massive.

However, astronomers have observed that nearly once a day, the black hole rouses to action, emitting a brief burst of light before settling back down. It’s unclear what causes such flare‑ups, and scientists have sought to characterize these periodic bursts in order to better understand how black holes evolve.

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