Researchers from the United Kingdom have observed some dust and gas particles that are enshrouding five monster black holes where they were previously hidden from view. Astronomers suspect, due to mathematical probability, that there are millions more of these giant objects, possibly at the center of every large galaxy.
Astronomers have found evidence for a large population of hidden supermassive black holes in the universe.
“Black holes come in several different varieties, all of which are characterized by a dense concentration of mass compressed into a tiny space and a gravitational force so powerful it keeps light from escaping”, the Monitor’s Noelle Swan reported in September, following the discovery of a supermassive black hole inside one of the smallest known dwarf galleries.
That’s how they turn into supermassive black holes.
They were detected by the American space agency Nasa’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) orbiting observatory which was launched in 2012.
They added that it might be there are millions more “supermassive” black holes lurking around our universe than were previously thought.
So the Universe seems to be hiding many more black holes than previously believed, but additional observations need to be made in order to confirm this. It has the ability of seeing extreme high energy X-rays coming in from extremely far away. These monsters in the middle of galaxies are actively devouring material, but their hidden nature makes observing them a challenge. But now, with the availability of such an awesome device as the NuSTAR, which is basically a giant telescope fixed in orbit, we can use high-energy X-rays to better see through space.
The findings were presented in July 6 at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.
George Lansbury, of the Durham University Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the study’s lead author, said that there were many more potential supermassive black holes that were obscured from human view.
Besides being now able to peer “deeper into the gas burying the black holes”, as NuSTAR’s project scientist, Daniel Stern, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, states, NuStar “is helping us learn why only some black holes appear obscured”. These rays penetrate the layers of gas and dust which cover the black holes.
The research is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.