Universe hides millions of black holes
FIVE previously hidden monster black holes have been uncovered by astronomers, leading to suggestions there may be millions more “supermassive” beasts that absorb everything in their path.
Supermassive black holes are powerful cosmic “drains” that suck material into a point of infinite density, formed from the compressed mass of up to billions of suns.
Scientists said the five black holes had been hidden behind dust and gas clouds. “For a long time we’ve known about supermassive black holes that are not obscured ... by dust and gas, but we suspected many more were hidden from view,” said lead scientist George Lansbury, from the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy at Durham University.
“Although we have only detected five, when we extrapolate our results across the universe, the predicted numbers are huge.’’
High energy X- rays emitted from around the newly identified black holes revealed their presence at the centre of five galaxies. They were detected by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array orbiting observatory, launched in 2012.