Elusive black holes finally revealed at the centre of our galaxy

07 April, 2018, 00:07 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Is the Milky Way getting bigger? Spanish team proves it

The researchers discovered almost 4,000 early galaxies in their study, many of them are believed to have evolved into galaxies like our own Milky Way.

Regardless of how scientists follow up this discovery, one way or another the result will be "pinning down the number of black holes in the center of a normal galaxy like the Milky Way", Hailey says.

The researchers now believe there are around 300 to 500 black hole low-mass binaries surrounding Sagittarius A* on top of about 10,000 isolated black holes.

The Columbia University team searched for X-rays from black holes that have captured a passing star in their gravitational grip, known as a "black hole binary".

Sagittarius A* is surrounded by a halo of gas and dust that provides the flawless breeding ground for massive stars, which can then give rise to black holes after they die, said study lead author Chuck Hailey, co-director of the astrophysics lab at Columbia University in NY.

"Isolated black holes just don't do much of anything", says lead author Hailey. As many as 20,000 black holes are predicted to settle in the central area of our galaxy (and all spiral galaxies) but so far, these black holes haven't been observed, and neither has their gravitational effect, despite astronomers' best efforts - that is, until now.

Scientists already knew our galaxy's core holds a supermassive black hole weighing millions of times more than our sun, and that this great beast is enveloped by a diverse entourage of lesser companions. This makes the system emit X-rays, which we can detect.

So to determine the number around the Galactic Center, the researchers had to delve into their knowledge of black hole physics. Our home galaxy consists of several hundred billion stars, with huge amounts of gas and dust, all intermingled and interacting through the force of gravity.




"But every now and then you'll find one of these black holes catch a star, and matter will come out of this star in a disk around the black hole ... so we can detect the tip of the iceberg". Scientists think that only 5 per cent of black holes have stellar companions, which means 10,000 black holes of this size could exist in the central bulge. Gravitational waves are ripples caused by the black holes colliding with each other. Finding these emissions was hard due to the amount of gas and dust found there.

The new study has used Chandra data to investigate X-ray sources close to Sagittarius A*.

"But this is the tip of the iceberg", he told AFP. This information gave the team the confidence they needed to concur that the galaxies were slowly expanding - even when these outskirts weren't picking up any sort of new planets or smaller galaxies around the edges. Most of the black holes remain isolated, but a small minority become attached to the orbits of low mass stars in the region, forming a binary system.

If you think about it, galaxies are pretty unusual.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Fiona Harrison is an astrophysicist at Caltech. But if you took the equivalent space around Earth there would be zero black holes, not thousands, Hailey said.

Older, lower-mass stars are abundant near the galaxy's center and in the halo that looms around the Milky Way's disk, while younger stars form within the disk itself (the spiral arms). So this is a real high concentration.

The newly discovered black holes are within about 30.9 trillion kilometres of the supermassive black hole at the centre.

Recommended:

  • Koreas begin preparatory talks to set up Kim-Moon summit

    Koreas begin preparatory talks to set up Kim-Moon summit

    Another source in Dangdong, the Chinese border town, reported the arrival of busloads of young female workers from North Korea . Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.
    Saudi Arabia have to pay to keep US troops in Syria

    Saudi Arabia have to pay to keep US troops in Syria

    With U.S. help, the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces recaptured Manbij from ISIS in 2016. We have nothing - nothing - except death and destruction. "It's time to come back home".
    Foreign min denies Israel migrant deal (4)

    Foreign min denies Israel migrant deal (4)

    A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said he was unaware of any plans to resettle African migrants from Israel to Germany. Naftali Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home party, welcomed the move, calling the deal "very dangerous" for Israel .
  • I don't know why my attorney paid Stormy Daniels $130K

    I don't know why my attorney paid Stormy Daniels $130K

    Her nondisclosure agreement subjects her to fines of $1 million for each infraction an arbitrator rules was prohibited. On Monday, Trump's lawyers sought to get that lawsuit out of federal court and into private arbitration .
    Saks, Lord & Taylor Customer Credit, Debit Card Data Stolen; 5M Accounts Hit

    Saks, Lord & Taylor Customer Credit, Debit Card Data Stolen; 5M Accounts Hit

    Gemini researchers said that the entire network of Lord & Taylor was compromised along with 83 stores of Saks Fith Avenue. As many as 5 million users' credit cards may be compromised, and the breach may still be ongoing as of time of writing.

    NZ vs ENG 2nd Test: Records broken and interesting statistics

    For now they can bask in the glory of a significant series win, but they deserve not to be undersold. New Zealand did it all themselves, from a position few would have given them a chance.
  • Arsenal put one foot in Europa League semis

    Arsenal put one foot in Europa League semis

    Nevertheless, 4-1 was how the encounter ended as the Gunners take a comfortable lead to Russian Federation next week. At the end of the first 45 minutes it was Arsenal that walked into the tunnel with a commanding 4 - 1.
    Apple Hires Google's AI Chief, Tim Cook Touts His Commitment to Privacy

    Apple Hires Google's AI Chief, Tim Cook Touts His Commitment to Privacy

    Giannandrea helped integrate AI into Google's search platform, GMail, and Google Assistant , that company's digital assistant. Because of its stance on data collection, Apple still has no access to the massive data sets that Facebook and Google do.
    Cricketers pay homage to SA cricket legend Morne Morkel

    Cricketers pay homage to SA cricket legend Morne Morkel

    In the last 16 months, Morkel has taken 67 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of just 21.67 so he will certainly be missed by the Proteas .
  • Fortnite gets vending machines and lots of explosions with new update

    Fortnite gets vending machines and lots of explosions with new update

    Vending Machines are unique from the other objects in that they allow players to trade in their excess materials for new weaponry. Each machine has three different deals to offer, with the items and their rarity chosen at random.
    Dow Sinks After News Of China's New Tariffs

    Dow Sinks After News Of China's New Tariffs

    The U.S. government is inviting public comment on its trade sanctions through May 11 and will hold a hearing on the plan May 15. Chinese policies "coerce American companies into transferring their technology" to Chinese enterprises, said a USTR statement .
    Esty Will Not Seek Re-Election To Congress

    Esty Will Not Seek Re-Election To Congress

    A number of CT elected officials called on Esty to resign following the revelation about the sexual harassment case in her office. According to the Connecticut Post , Baker also received $5,000 in severance, which Esty said she repaid to the US Treasury.


Popular

Forecasters calling for another busy hurricane season in 2018
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was historic in many ways, most notably it will go down as the costliest in USA history. Buckle in, South Carolina, researchers say the East Coast should prepare for an above-average hurricane season.

Proteas grind Australia down at the Wanderers
Left amid the wreckage are captain Tim Paine (5 not out) and Pat Cummins (7 not out), with Australia to resume on 6-110. He waited for the bad balls and put them away, while defensively he looked untroubled for the most part.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. honored 50 years after his death
A wreath-laying will be held at his grave site. "But most importantly, we must remember the goal and power of his life". The best way for people to honor King, Jones argues, is registering to vote and becoming politically active.

A look back at Winnie Mandela's most iconic turban looks
She continued to tell the party "exactly what is wrong and what is right at any time", said senior ANC leader Gwede Mantashe. Since the announcement of her death yesterday, there have been reactions, not only from South Africa but the world over.

Spotify share surge is sweet music for Scottish Mortgage
Sony Music provides its artists' music to the Swedish company. "Normally, companies don't pursue a direct listing". Spotify's direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange was a non-traditional route to the public capital markets.

Marijuana may be replacing opioid prescriptions
One, published previous year , showed that Medicare saved about $ 165 million in 2013 from medical marijuana laws . They concluded, "Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids".

Trade War Fears Justified as China Responds with Force, Stock Markets Tumble
In 2016, China imported $33bn worth of soybeans in total, with Brazil its biggest supplier with $15.5bn, according to ITC. According to The Street , "China is Boeing's biggest export market and the 737 is its biggest selling product".

Chandrababu Naidu slams Centre over denial of Special Status to Andhra
Reiterating the Centre's commitment towards the development of Andhra Pradesh, Javadekar ridiculed Naidu's politics. With all four years in NDA, I have done my best.

Spotify finally goes public with a valuation of almost $24 billion
The company opted to forego the traditional IPO and instead list and trade its shares without the help of an investment bank. That number will come down if Ek and Lorentzon sell a big chunk of their Spotify shares through Tuesday's direct listing.

Moto G6, Moto G6 Play to launch next month, reveals retailer
According to reports, Moto G6 series will be heavily inspired by the Moto X4 with the same glass back and puck-shape camera. Moto G6 - It has a 5.7-inch Full HD MaxVision display with a resolution of 1080x2160 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9.