Monster Black Holes Discovered In Nearby Galaxies

First Posted: Jan 09, 2017 02:08 AM EST

Black holes are among the most mysterious things in the universe. In fact, everything people know about them are based mostly in theory, which is a good thing, considering that mankind would have been absorbed into nothingness if it is too close to study these in detail.

As Zee News India noted, black holes are mostly enigmas for scientists to study further, especially because these gravity-pulling holes are found to be abundant in the universe and are known to exist in distant galaxies. Unfortunately for humans, it seems that "distant" galaxies may be subjective, as NASA recently discovered two supermassive black holes shrouded in gas, located somewhere nearby.

The "monster black holes" as they are called sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from most telescopes. But they give themselves away when they feed on material that emits high-energy X-rays that NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission can detect.

But what took so long for NASA to find them? Peter Boorman, a graduate student at the University of Southampton in the U.K., said, "Just as we can't see the sun on a cloudy day, we can't directly see how bright these active galactic nuclei really are because of all of the gas and dust surrounding the central engine."

Boorman is currently investigating the black hole in the IC 3639 galaxy, which is located some 170 million lightyears away from Earth (or 6 trillion miles), according to RT. These massive black holes have gone undetected for so long, but ultimately, their appetites gave them away.

Ady Annuar, a graduate student at Durham University (also in the U.K.), centered his study on the NGC 1448 galaxy, which is only 38 million lightyears away from Earth. According to him, these newly discovered black holes are "like monsters hiding under your bed." He also said during the presentation of his study at the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas, that while these black holes currently do not pose any danger, there may be others that are still missing and could be in the nearby universe.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics