WASHINGTON: The Milky Way’s Center Is A Cornucopia of Black Holes — The Atlantic
Astronomers have long predicted the presence of black holes at the center of the Milky Way, which they said could number in the thousands, and now scientists have found the first evidence of them.
Chuck Hailey of Columbia University has a picture pinned above his desk showing a bright orange and yellow blob — the glow of cosmic gas as it gets devoured by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Astronomers captured this glow using X-rays, a versatile type of radiation that is good for seeing through galactic gas as well as human bodies.
Some of the X-ray emissions astronomers detect coming from the galactic center come from this black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, but not all. The rest come from a population of other, smaller black holes clustered in the region.
Hailey and a team of scientists led by Columbia used archival data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope orbiting earth. Their findings were published in Nature magazine last Wednesday.