BEACON TRANSCRIPT – This week, NASA announced they made an exciting discovery. Chandra X-Ray Observatory found thousands of black holes that were supposed to make the highest concentration of black holes one had ever seen. The Observatory even released an image they captured of all these black holes. From all these thousands, researchers concluded that two of the supermassive black holes are pretty close to our galaxy. The announced this at the latest meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
With the help of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), researchers analyzed two galaxies. These are IC 3639, which is 170 million light-years away from Earth, and NGC 1448, which is closer to Earth, 38 million light-years away. These galaxies are much closer to Earth than the black holes recently discovered by NASA. Still, the black holes are close to the Milky Way, too, but remained hidden until now.
These supermassive black holes generate and give power to some objects belonging to the same class as quasars and blazars. These highly bright objects are called extreme galactic nuclei. Their brightness comes from the particles that emit a full electromagnetic radiation. These particles get really hot near the black holes, hence the brightness. They are also supposed to be surrounded by a circular concentration of thick dust and gas that makes them impossible to be seen from certain angles.
The study of IC 3639 was led by a graduate student, Peter Boorman, at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. He compared the dust and gas layer that acts upon the galactic nuclei to the effect of clouds on the sun. They cover it and make it impossible for us to see.
The NGC 1448 study was led by Ady Annuar, a graduate student at Durham University in the United Kingdom. They found that the galaxy has quite a numerous population of young stars of about 5 million years. As a comparison, our sun is 5 billion years old. The presence of the young stars suggests that the galaxy is continuously producing them as the black hole in the center absorbs dust and gas.
Researchers at NASA are excited to make use of NuSTAR’s technology in order to disclose unknown parts of the universe that have been hidden from us.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons