A swarm of 10,000 or more black holes may be orbiting the Milky Ways supermassive black hole, according to new results from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory. This would represent the highest concentration of black holes anywhere in the Galaxy.
These relatively small, stellar-mass black holes, along with neutron stars, appear to have migrated into the Galactic Center over the course of several billion years. Such a dense stellar graveyard has been predicted for years, and this represents the best evidence to date of its existence. The Chandra data may also help astronomers better understand how the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way grows.
The discovery was made as part of Chandras ongoing program of monitoring the region around Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. It was announced today by Michael Muno of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, CA.
Megan Watzke | EurekAlert!
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