Scientists believe dozens of black holes could lie at center of Milky Way

A new study suggests the presence of a dozen black holes around the Milky Way's supermassive black hole.
By Tyler MacDonald | Apr 04, 2018
Scientists believe that a dozen black holes might lie at the center of the Milky Way, according to BBC News. The new data supports the idea that the "supermassive" black holes that lie at the centre of galaxies are surrounded by numerous smaller ones.

The data used archival data from NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope. The Columbia University research team found a dozen inactive, low-mass "binary" systems where a star obits a black hole

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, namedSagittarius A* (Sgr A*), appears to be surrounded by a halo of gay and dust. This makes it the perfect breeding ground for massive stars, which could turn into black holes following death.

"The galactic centre is so far away from Earth that those bursts are only strong and bright enough to see about once every 100 to 1,000 years," said Charles Hailey, a researcher from Columbia University and lead author of the study.

The discovery that there are between 300 to 500 low-mass binaries and 10,000 isolated low-mass black holes around Sgr A* is significant.

"It is going to significantly advance gravitational wave research because knowing the number of black holes in the centre of a typical galaxy can help in better predicting how many gravitational wave events may be associated with them," Hailey said.

The findings were published in Nature.


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