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Mon Feb 22, 2021, 03:30 AM

The White Dots in This Image Are Not Stars or Galaxies. They're Black Holes



MICHELLE STARR 22 FEBRUARY 2021

The image above may look like a fairly normal picture of the night sky, but what you're looking at is a lot more special than just glittering stars. Each of those white dots is an active supermassive black hole.

And each of those black holes is devouring material at the heart of a galaxy millions of light-years away - that's how they could be pinpointed at all.

Totalling 25,000 such dots, astronomers have created the most detailed map to date of black holes at low radio frequencies, an achievement that took years and a Europe-sized radio telescope to compile.

"This is the result of many years of work on incredibly difficult data," explained astronomer Francesco de Gasperin of the University of Hamburg in Germany. "We had to invent new methods to convert the radio signals into images of the sky."



More:
https://www.sciencealert.com/every-white-dot-in-this-image-is-a-black-hole-at-the-heart-of-a-distant-galaxy

14 replies, 4164 views

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Reply The White Dots in This Image Are Not Stars or Galaxies. They're Black Holes (Original post)
Judi Lynn Monday OP
Fullduplexxx Monday #1
lagomorph777 Wednesday #10
JohnnyRingo Monday #2
Javaman Monday #3
lagomorph777 Wednesday #11
packman Monday #4
GB_RN Monday #6
lagomorph777 Wednesday #12
housecat Monday #5
oldsoftie Monday #7
denbot Monday #8
LudwigPastorius Monday #9
paleotn Wednesday #13
getagrip_already Wednesday #14

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 06:37 AM

1. With that many out there I'm surprised there's any matter left

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Response to Fullduplexxx (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 10:42 AM

10. Galaxies wouldn't exist without those black holes.

Also, galaxies wouldn't exist without dark matter, which vastly outweighs visible matter.

The supermassive black hole and the dark matter are the structure. Stars, planets, nebulae, and people are just lightweight decorations hanging on that structure.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:02 AM

2. K&R

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:25 AM

3. "my god, it's full of holes" mt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 10:42 AM

11. Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the endless void.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 10:51 AM

4. Jeezis, may we expect that many in our galaxy?

makes one wonder where all that devoured material goes - perhaps to another galaxy, another parallel universe?

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Response to packman (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 02:39 PM

6. No.

Per the article, those are supermassive black holes (SMBH), not stellar mass black holes. SMBHs form the gravitational heart/center of most galaxies, including our own, and formed in the early stages of the universe (although current hypotheses aren’t quite adequate for explaining exactly how).

Stellar mass black holes, are the kind that you will find all around the galaxy, as the creation of those are the result of massive stars exploding in a supernova, and in doing so, causes an implosion/compression of the core into a black hole. Stellar mass black holes usually “weigh” between 10 to several hundred solar masses. That compared to SMBHs which come in at millions to billions of solar masses.

So far, there hasn’t been much in terms of finding black holes in the mass category between the two.

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Response to packman (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 10:44 AM

12. Our galaxy has one supermassive black hole, same as almost every other galaxy.

But we probably have billions of "normal" black holes.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 01:14 PM

5. oh sure, I'll believe anything after surviving the last four years

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 03:43 PM

7. Space is such an amazing thing. And the enormity of it all.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:54 PM

8. Thar be monsters out there..

Hungry monsters..

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 09:33 PM

9. Better caption for map:


"Avoid these places. They suck."

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 03:51 PM

13. Good thing space is big...really big

None of those 25K+ would be particularly good neighbors.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 06:46 PM

14. That's a hole lot of nothing.... n/t

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