More than 30,000 light years from Earth lying at the core of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, are weird clumps of warm, dense gas that may represent seeds that will grow into monster black holes one day, according to a new study.
A team of Japanese astronomers announced this bizarre finding this week using powerful radio telescopes. Their observations show that three of these masses are growing in size, thanks to supernovae explosions estimated to have occurred 60,000 years ago. What is even stranger is that the team calculated the power of that ancient eruption as being equivalent to 200 individual supernovae going off simultaneously! Since no single star could cause such an epic blast, researchers believe that a massive star cluster – equivalent to 100,000 times the mass of the sun – lies hidden behind the veil of one of these masses and is the source of the power.
While backyard astronomers don’t have the technology to see these exotic objects, they can find its general location in the night sky. Face the south sky on any late summer night and look toward the horizon for the constellation Sagittarius. look for a bright asterism – or star pattern – in the shape of a giant teapot – that marks the main section of the constellation. This also marks the general direction of the centre of the Milky Way – 30 thousand light years away!
Read more about this discovery here
Tags: Black holes, Sagittarius
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Imagine an area as big as Earth’s orbit, where the force of gravity is so powerful that nothing, not even light can escape. Devouring everything in its path, astronomers call these cosmic predators black holes. The stuff of Hollywood movies and countless sci-fi novels, black holes have been studied by astronomers for decades.
But now there’s a strange new brute on the celestial block—the middleweight black hole – and it may offer clues to the Universe’s distant past, a new study says.
After nearly three years of spying a superbright object nearly 300 million light-years away, astronomers with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and SWIFT telescope recently announced the discovery of HLX-1, the first representative of a new type of black hole.
Tags: Black holes
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