Thu, Apr 27, 2017 | updated 08:36 AM IST

Hundreds of undiscovered black holes revealed

Updated: Sep 09, 2016 09:15 IST      
Hundreds of undiscovered black holes revealed

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept. 9 (ANI): New research by the University of Surrey has thrown light on a globular cluster of stars that could host several hundred black holes, a phenomenon that until recently was thought impossible.

Globular clusters are spherical collections of stars which orbit around a galactic centre such as our Milky-way galaxy.

Using advanced computer simulations, the team at the University of Surrey was 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, adding, "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."

It is only as recently as 2013 that astrophysicists found individual black holes in globular clusters via rare phenomena in which a companion star donates material to the black hole.

This work, which was supported by the European Research Council (ERC), has shown that in NGC 6101 there could be several hundred black holes, overturning old theories as to how black holes form.

Co-author Mark Gieles continued, "Our work is intended to help answer fundamental questions related to dynamics of stars and black holes, and the recently observed gravitational waves. These are emitted when two black holes merge, and if our interpretation is right, the cores of some globular clusters may be where black hole mergers take place."

The researchers chose to map this particular ancient globular cluster due to its recently found distinctive makeup, which suggested that it could be different to other clusters.

Compared to other globular clusters NGC 6101 appears dynamically young in contrast to the ages of the individual stars; also the cluster appears inflated, with the core being under-populated by observable stars.

Using computer simulation, the team recreated every individual star and black hole in the cluster and their behaviour. Over the whole lifetime of thirteen billion years the simulation demonstrated how NGC 6101 has evolved. It was possible to see the effects of large numbers of black holes on the visible stars, and to reproduce what was observed for NGC6101.

From this, the researchers showed that the unexplainable dynamical apparent youth is an effect of the large black hole population.

"This research is exciting as we were able to theoretically observe the spectacle of an entire population of black holes using computer simulations. The results show that globular clusters like NGC 6101, which were always considered boring, are in fact the most interesting ones, possibly each harbouring hundreds of black holes. This will help us to find more black holes in other globular clusters in the Universe," concluded Peuten.

This study has been published in Royal Astronomical Society. (ANI)

London [UK], Apr 26 (ANI): As NASA's Cassini Spacecraft enters its final dive, called 'The Grand Finale', into orbiting Saturn's moon, Titan, Google commemorates the occasion by making a special Doodle.

Full Story >>

India's outsized coal plans put Paris climate goals at risk

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 08:34 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 26 (ANI): India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

Full Story >>

NASA looks at newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 26 (ANI): Tropical Depression 03W formed in the Pacific Ocean west of Guam on April 24, 2017, and data from the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission or GPM core satellite was used to look at the storm in 3-D.

Full Story >>

Researchers relate extreme weather to global warming

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:19 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 25 (ANI): In the past, scientists typically avoided linking individual weather events to climate change, citing the challenges of teasing apart human influence from the natural variability of the weather. But that is changing.

Full Story >>

Ahmedabad surgeon performs India's 1st robotic surgery

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 18:43 IST     

Ahmedabad (Guajarat) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A unique robotic surgical procedure, said to be the first of its kind performed in India and third in the world, was recently performed by a doctor at Sterling Hospitals on a 37-year old patient to relieve him of acute pain caused by a rare condition of Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome.

Full Story >>

This 3-D skin printer can heal severe burns faster

Updated: Apr 23, 2017 07:11 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): A newly-developed method for using a modified printer that covers wounds with healthy skin cells can make the traditional burn treatment a history.

Full Story >>

Turns out, you can 'point out' a man's education

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:51 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): Knowing a man's education is as simple as looking at his fingers, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Just when you thought brain games made you smarter

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:39 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): You may want to be skeptical of ads declaring you can rev up your brain's performance by challenging it with products from the growing brain-training industry, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Accomplished female scientists often overlooked

Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 21 (ANI): Turns out, gender gap still exists in the STEM fields-science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Full Story >>

Port Blair [India], April 21 (ANI): In a first of its kind study, peptides, from the venom of cone snails, have been identified that opens up possibilities of drug research for several human ailments.

Full Story >>

Antarctica's biodiversity 'falling between the cracks'

Updated: Apr 20, 2017 22:49 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 20 (ANI): The popular view that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are in a much better environmental shape than the rest of the world has been debunked.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], April 18 (ANI): Keep your worries at bay as Azithromycin group of medicine is no more linked to an increased risk of irregular heartbeat, says a study.

Full Story >>

Even with head-up display, texting while driving not safe

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 12:38 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Despite relatively less distraction from the head-up displays, a recent study has suggested that texting while driving is still a bad idea.

Full Story >>

Now, sketch your way to better learning

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 11:31 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Sketching exercises can help students learn many subjects, but they are woefully underused in classrooms, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Randomness peaks when you're 25

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 10:18 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): 25 is the "golden age," when people's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Why having a 'nice' boss may be 'bad' for you

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 10:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Those feeling stressed at work may want to rethink before blaming their bosses as it turns out, an unsupportive manager can actually be good for you.

Full Story >>

Are you all ears? Your eyes indicate if you are

Updated: Apr 16, 2017 09:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 16 (ANI): Turns out, the eyes really are a window to the soul as a recent study has found that your pupils give away whether or not you are listening.

Full Story >>

Our ancestors defeated virus from HIV family 11m years ago

Updated: Apr 15, 2017 12:46 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 15 (ANI): Viral fossils have revealed how our ancestors may have wiped out a primordial virus around 11 million years ago.

Full Story >>

Understanding money can keep those old-age worries at bay

Updated: Apr 14, 2017 20:34 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 14 (ANI): Those possessing a greater understanding of finance are less likely to fret about life in their twilight years, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

A stranger's eye can help you pick best profile picture

Updated: Apr 14, 2017 18:14 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 14 (ANI): When it comes to your profile picture, you may want to let a stranger do the choosing as a recent study has suggested so.

Full Story >>