Discovery of a dozen black holes at the heart of the Milky Way

Découverte d'une douzaine de trous noirs au coeur de la Voie Lactée

There is a hypothesis according to which, at the centre of any galaxy can be found many black holes located around a giant supermassive black hole. If until now this assumption had not been demonstrated, a team of american scientists has just to do so having been able to observe a dozen black holes at the center of the Milky Way. The results of this study have been published in the journal Nature on Wednesday 4 April.

As a reminder, there are two types of black holes : black holes stellar that appear at the end of life of a star and those so-called supermassive, which could weigh between 1 million and billion times the Sun, located at the center of galaxies.

A tiny part of the iceberg

Découverte d'une douzaine de trous noirs au coeur de la Voie Lactée

Up to now, even around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, the black hole nearest to our planet, the above theory has never been verified. No cluster of black holes, stellar could not be observed. But with the results of this new study has helped to highlight a dozen of black holes of stars around Sagittarius A*, the authors of this study believe that they hold a track. In fact, according to them, it would only be a “tip of the iceberg“. They think that there must be other smaller items that they are not able to detect the fact of this distance is too far away. According to the study, it may be that there are 500 black holes-stellar to be at the heart of the Milky Way. And some 10,000 of these celestial objects located within 3 light years of Sagittarius A*.

If scientists manage to prove that our galaxy has many black holes, then they will have succeeded in proving the basic assumption. In addition, a better knowledge on the number of black holes would allow to move forward on the research on the gravitational waves from the collision of black holes.

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