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Study: The Milky Way is swarming with black holes

August 9, 2017 9:18 PM
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Study: The Milky Way is swarming with black holes

A new survey suggests that there are "as many as 100 million" black holes in our galaxy, out of 100 billion stars

A new research paper from astronomers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) suggests that there are way more black holes in the universe — and by extension our own galaxy — than previously thought.

The idea that a galaxy’s size could predict its number of black holes is intuitive, in the sense that black holes are generally produced by large collapsing stars, and hence galaxies with a certain number of high-mass stars would produce more black holes. All galaxies, including the Milky Way, function to some extent as giant star nurseries; when one star dies and explodes, the resulting nebula will often create one or more stars in its wake. Our own sun, along with all the planets and moons in the solar system, were created from a nebula comprised of the ejected mass of a previous star or stars.


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