More Than a Thousand Supermassive Black Holes Found in the Center of Milky Way

Zhou Xin

PureInsight | March 18, 2007

Panorama of more than a thousand supermassive black holes found in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy

[] According to
a press communiqué published on the Chandra X-Ray Observatory website
on March 12, 2007, astronomers have captured an image of more than a
thousand supermassive black holes with NASA's Chandra X-ray
Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based optical
telescopes. The new survey raises doubts about a popular current model
of supermassive black holes.

These black holes lie in the Bootes Constellation at the Center of the
Milky Way Galaxy. The black holes in the image are hundreds of millions
to several billion times more massive than the sun. These results give
astronomers a snapshot of a crucial period when these monster black
holes are growing, and provide insight into the environments in which
they occur.

Astronomers believe that material falling into these black holes at
high rates generates huge amounts of light that can be detected in
different wavelengths. These celestial systems are known as active
galactic nuclei (AGN). The larger the black hole is, the brighter the
active galactic nuclei. Since the biggest black holes power the
brightest AGN, they can be spotted at vast distances, even with short


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