Tags: supermassive | black | holes | hiding | galaxies | found | nustar

Supermassive Black Holes Dug Out of 5 Galaxies by NuSTAR

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 06:40 AM

Evidence of five supermassive black holes hidden at the center of galaxies was recently discovered by a team of British astronomers using NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array satellite observatory.

The scientists at Durham University in the United Kingdom used NuSTAR to find high-energy x-rays from the five supermassive black holes that had been hidden from researchers by gas and dust, reported the Royal Astronomical Society for Astronomy magazine.

 


Supermassive black holes are dense objects found in the center of galaxies that suck in huge amounts of gas and dust and are so strong that light cannot escape their pull, according to the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History.

"For a long time we have known about supermassive black holes that are not obscured by dust and gas, but we suspected that many more were hidden from our view," said George Lansbury of Durham University.

"Thanks to NuSTAR, for the first time we have been able to clearly see these hidden monsters that are predicted to be there but have previously been elusive because of their 'buried' state. Although we have only detected five of these hidden supermassive black holes, when we extrapolate our results across the whole universe, then the predicted numbers are huge and in agreement with what we would expect to see," said Lansbury.

One mission of NASA's NuSTAR telescope is to understand the active galaxies hosting supermassive black holes, according to NASA's website.

The telescope can take count of collapsed stars and black holes of different sizes by surveying regions around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and perform deep space observations of the extragalactic sky along with mapping recently-synthesized remains of young supernova to understand how stars explode, according to NASA.

"High-energy x-rays are more penetrating than low-energy x-rays, so we can see deeper into the gas burying the black holes," Daniel Stern of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Astronomy magazine. "NuSTAR allows us to see how big the hidden monsters are and is helping us learn why only some black holes appear obscured."

 


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Evidence of five supermassive black holes hidden at the center of galaxies was recently discovered by a team of British astronomers using NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array satellite observatory.
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2015-40-07
Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 06:40 AM
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