Black holes are mysterious, but also deceptively simple: a new space mission could help physicists answer tough questions about these astronomical objects

a dark orb on the right is surrounded by a bright disk and further out by swirling dark red gasses. a jet of purple gas extends from the dark orb, shooting to the top left corner before a backdrop a infinite stars.

Physicists consider black holes one of the the most mysterious objects that exist. Ironically, they are also considered among the simplest. For years, physicists like me have tried to prove that black holes are more complex than they seem. And a newly approved one European space mission called LISA will help us with this hunt.

Research from the 1970s suggests that you can comprehensively describe a black hole using just three physical characteristics: their mass, charge and spin. All the other features of this mass death stars, like their detailed composition, density and temperature profiles, they disappear as they transform into a black hole. They are that simple.

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