Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Swarm

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#91398 by @ 30.07.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Swarm


What do you
call a group of black
holes ... a flock, a brace, a swarm?

Monitoring a region around the
center of our Galaxy,
astronomers have indeed found
evidence for a surprisingly large number of
variable x-ray sources - likely black holes or neutron stars in
binary star systems - swarming
around the Milky Way's
own central supermassive black hole.

Chandra Observatory combined
x-ray image data from their monitoring
is shown above
with four variable sources circled and labeled A-D.

While four sources may not make a swarm,
these all lie
within only three light-years of the central supermassive black
hole known as
Sgr A* (the bright source just above C).

Their detection
that a much larger concentration of
black hole systems is present.

Repeated gravitational interactions with other stars are
thought to cause the

black hole systems to spiral inward
toward the Galactic Center region.

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