September 10, 2016

"New research by the University of Surrey published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society has shone light on a globular cluster of stars that could host several hundred black holes, a phenomenon that until recently was thought impossible."

phys.org: Globular clusters are spherical collections of stars which orbit around a galactic centre such as our Milky-way galaxy. via University of Surrey

'Using advanced computer simulations, the team at the University of Surrey were able to see the un-see-able by mapping a globular cluster known as NGC 6101, from which the existence of black holes within the system was deduced. These black holes are a few times larger than the Sun, and form in the gravitational collapse of massive stars at the end of their lives. It was previously thought that these black holes would almost all be expelled from their parent cluster due to the effects of supernova explosion, during the death of a star.

'"Due to their nature, black holes are impossible to see with a telescope, because no photons can escape", explained lead author Miklos Peuten of the University of Surrey. "In order to find them we look for their gravitational effect on their surroundings. Using observations and simulations we are able to spot the distinctive clues to their whereabouts and therefore effectively 'see' the un-seeable".'

No comments: