Astroboffins marks the presence of a cluster of black holes right at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This time the discovery peeps out from the desk of Chandra X-ray Observatory of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration Centre.
The newly discovered cluster consists of stellar mass black holes lurking at the focal point of the Milky Way galaxy. These black holes are approximately five to thirty times the mass of the Sun. The cluster as observed at a distance of three light years. It is at a relatively shorter length on the cosmic scales.
Our Galaxy’s focal point is known as the Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). The recent study indicates that a massive population of the black holes approximately twenty thousand in number could collect around the Sagittarius A*. This Chandra data analysis is first of its kind.
When you see an ideal black hole, it appears invisible. It is only after locking up with a star, does it pulls the gas from its stellar companion. Astronomers denote this phenomenon as X-ray binaries. It first falls down a disk and heats itself up to millions of degrees. Later, it gives rise to the X-rays before it vanishes as a black hole. The Chandra image features some of the X-ray binaries as point sources.
The Chandra data were further analyzed by a team of researchers from the Columbia University in New York to search for the X-ray binaries near Sgr A*. The team was lead by Chuck Hailey. They analyzed and studied the X-ray spectra. The X-ray spectrum represents the amount of the X-rays seen at different energy levels.
The researchers then picked up the relevant data with the spectrum that resembles the known X-ray binaries possessing X-rays of lower energy levels. With the help of this protocol, the research team came up with the fourteen X-ray binaries, which are present within three light years of the Sagittarius A*.
A paper reflecting the studies appears in the journal Nature under April 5 issue.