Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers Find Evidence For Tens Of Thousands Of Black Holes

Date:
January 11, 2005
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
UCLA astronomers present the first evidence that tens of thousands of black holes are orbiting the monstrous black hole at the center of the Milky Way, 26,000 light years away.

UCLA astronomers present the first evidence that tens of thousands of black holes are orbiting the monstrous black hole at the center of the Milky Way, 26,000 light years away.

Michael Muno, a UCLA postdoctoral Hubble Fellow, has studied the inner 75 light-years of the Milky Way, searching for bright, highly variable X-ray sources likely to be accreting black holes and neutron stars, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Muno found that these "transient" X-ray sources were highly concentrated within three light-years of the Galactic center, and that the one closest to the center, only three-tenths of a light year away, was very likely to be a black hole. The best explanation for this high concentration of X-ray binaries is that a few of the black holes, which UCLA astronomy professor Mark Morris predicted in 1993 should be there, have captured other stars, and are slowly devouring them. Morris proposed a theory that a process called dynamical friction would cause stellar black holes to sink toward the center of the galaxy. Andrea Ghez, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, is a co-author on Muno's research, as is Morris. NASA funded the research.

Muno will present the findings on Monday, Jan. 10, and will speak at an American Astronomical Society press conference at 12:30 PST that day, at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego.

The supermassive black hole, with a mass more than 3 million times that of our sun, is in the constellation of Sagittarius. Black holes are collapsed stars so dense that nothing can escape their gravitational pull, not even light. Black holes cannot be seen directly, but their influence on nearby stars is visible, and provides a signature. The black hole at the center of our galaxy came into existence billions of years ago, perhaps as very massive stars collapsed at the end of their life cycles and coalesced into a single, supermassive object.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "Astronomers Find Evidence For Tens Of Thousands Of Black Holes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111090506.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2005, January 11). Astronomers Find Evidence For Tens Of Thousands Of Black Holes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111090506.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "Astronomers Find Evidence For Tens Of Thousands Of Black Holes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111090506.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Baby Moon 'Peggy' Spotted In Saturn's Rings

New Baby Moon 'Peggy' Spotted In Saturn's Rings

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A bump in the rings could be a half-mile-wide miniature moon. It was found by accident in Cassini probe images. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americas Glimpse Total Lunar Eclipse

Americas Glimpse Total Lunar Eclipse

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) A total lunar eclipse, the first since December 2011, took place early Tuesday morning with the Americas getting the best glimpse. Duration: 1:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse

NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) Star gazers in parts of North and South America got a rare treat early Tuesday morning - a total eclipse of the moon. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spacecrafts Could Use Urine As Fuel Source

Spacecrafts Could Use Urine As Fuel Source

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) New research says the urea from urine could be recycled for fuel. Urea is filtered out of wastewater when making drinking water. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins