The Milky Way Galaxy Is Growing Faster Than the Speed of Sound

Astronomers pouring over old x-ray observations have found signs of a dozen black holes in the inner circle of the Milky Way.

A new study points to evidence of thousands of black holes at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

While scientists have known that Galaxies do expand, it was previously thought that the actual radius of the Milky Way wouldn't expand unless an outside mass was absorbed into it. Searches for a small pulsar have failed, but it could be that the star cooked up super heavy elements that are decaying into ones never found on Earth.

The galaxy we inhabit, the Milky Way, may be getting even bigger, according to Cristina MartĂ­nez-Lombilla, a PhD candidate at the Instituto de AstrofĂ­sica de Canarias in Tenerife, Spain, and her collaborators.

Artistic depiction of a black hole "devouring" a star.

Either way, our galaxy's supermassive black hole should be surrounded by hundreds of stellar-mass black holes - at least. They come in several shapes (spiral, elliptical, irregular), and are essentially a group of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter that are clumped together by gravity.

What they found there: a dozen black holes paired up with stars, according to a report in the journal Nature.

One way to find the elusive objects is to look for bursts of X-rays that are produced when a black hole feeds off a companion star.


United States astrophysicist Dr Chuck Hailey, from Columbia University in New York City, said: "This finding confirms a major theory and the implications are many". In addition, "the galactic center is very crowded so it is hard to differentiate systems in which a black hole is present from other more prosaic X-ray sources such as white dwarfs". "The galactic center is a odd place".

The newly discovered black holes are within about 19.2 trillion miles (30.9 trillion kilometers) of the supermassive black hole at the center.

"I find black holes really cool", Hailey says.

The halo of gas and dust around Sgr A is thought to provide the flawless breeding ground for massive stars which collapse into black holes when they die.

The researchers analyzed the outer reaches of a number of spiral galaxies, using optical-light data gathered by the ground-based Sloan Digital Sky Survey and near-ultraviolet and near-infrared information collected by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and Spitzer space telescopes, respectively.

First, their mass tends to pull them to the centre.

"Isolated, unmated black holes are just black-they don't do anything".

It'll be very interesting to see what happens next with this research, and what more can be learned both about black holes and about the center of our galaxy, from this exciting study. Then, after becoming a black hole, it would have captured another star, giving birth to a binary system formed by a star and a black hole.


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