NASA Shares Photo Of Hundreds Of Massive Black HolesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA has shared an X-ray image of thousands of black holes in a tiny part of the sky. It was released on Thursday, Jan. 5.
Quartz reported that the photo was captured by NASA space observatory, Chandra. With the use of X-rays, scientists were able to photograph a first of the highest concentration of black holes seen.
It was noted that it would have contained 5,000 supermassive black holes if the region photographed were the same size as the moon when viewed from Earth or about a billion over the whole sky. Each of these black holes would have mass that ranged from 100,000 times to 10 billion times the mass of the Sun.
Niel Brandt of Pennsylvania State University said that this one photo can be used to explore the early days of black holes. Moreover, this could lead to a better understanding of these celestial bodies.
70 percent of the objects in the image, as seen in Chandra's official website, are supermassive black holes. The temperatures of gases falling into these black holes rise rapidly as it nears the event horizon, also known as the point of no return, which results to the emission of bright X-ray.
The photo is deemed as the "deepest X-ray image ever obtained." It was collected in eleven and a half weeks, which is equivalent to 7 million seconds, of Chandra observing time.
It would allow scientists to understand how black holes grew approximately one to two billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers have also proved how these black holes grew in bursts instead of by the slow accumulation of matter.
According to Business Insider, the astronomers have photographed the patch of space shown in the image 102 times over the past 17 years. The image showed a piece of the sky in the constellation Fornax.
Chandra has confirmed that there are about 2,076 galaxies, along with their black holes, shown in the photo. The red spots are low energy X-rays while green and blue are medium- and high-energy, respectively.