NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) have been able to find a chorus of black holes for the first time. Scientific methods have advanced on resolving the high energy X-Rays irradiated by black holes in distant galaxies.
Astronomers of the Californian Institute of Technology have been able to pinpoint a chorus of black holes. The discovery was possible because of data analysis provided by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which helped to explain the X-rays radiation surrounding black holes, what is known by the scientific community as black holes’ “songs.”
With the recent discovery, astronomers will be able to identify and deeply explain the characteristic of the radiation of black holes in the universe, which had remained elusive up until now.
“Now, thanks to NuSTAR, we’re gaining a better understanding of the black holes and starting to address these questions”, said Daniel Stern, a scientist for NuSTAR at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Glowing Black Holes in the Cosmos
Black Holes are known as the loudest things in the universe. The songs of black holes are the glowing X-rays they emit. Black holes attract and consume material around them. As they grow so does their gravitational density, pulling more and more matter towards them. The matter surrounding black holes is heated up as the particles get sped up reaching the speed of light.
Because of this processes in big black holes, they glow ray-X. As more matter, they have in their surroundings more high energy they produce. The matter surrounding black holes is heated up as the particles get sped up reaching the speed of light. Because of this processes in big black holes, they glow ray-X.
As more matter, they have in their surroundings more high energy they produce. The blue dots in the Cosmos field show supermassive black holes emitting high-energy X-rays, while the other colored dots represent the galaxies in the cosmos that have lower-energy X-rays emitting black holes. It is not that NASA didn’t know about the so called “songs” of the Cosmos, but they were not bright for scientists.
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory explained that those holes with the highest pitched “voices” that is the ones with the biggest radiation, were harder to define. Before NuSTAR, the X-ray energy was just a blur, and it was almost impossible to establish patterns and factors in the analysis of black holes.
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NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by Caltech, and it was developed in partnership with the Danish Technical University and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Now it has found 32 glowing black holes in the cosmos.
A new chapter for the study of black holes
This discovery is changing the whole view of black holes. The NASA analysts will continue to observe and deepen their recent data. However, they still can’t determine if the cosmic chorus comes from a lot of smaller singing black holes of from a few loud voices. Now that NuSTAR captures them, investigators will evaluate how is the evolution of the singers over time
“We’ve gone from resolving just two percent of the high-energy X-ray background to 35 percent,” said Fiona Harrison, the principal investigator of NuSTAR, “We can see the most obscured black holes, hidden in thick gas and dust.”
Harrison is also the author of the upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal.