A team of researchers have discovered evidence of thousands of black holes near the center of our galaxy. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Chuck Hailey of Columbia University in New York and crew pointed to a large number of X-ray binaries near the center of the Milky Way in a study published this week. They call their discovery a “density cusp” because of the amount of stellar-mass black holes in one relatively small space. Once you roll in near that arena, chances are you aren’t going to be rolling back out.
Would that there were a black hole out in space all by itself with no matter near enough to it large enough to see, said black hole would not be visible. The black hole itself is not visible, for it sucks light into itself and does not let said light back out again. However, there are signs of black holes out in the vast reaches of space.
A black hole can be detected by witnessing matter falling in – because before light falls in to the hole, it can still be seen. When a black hole is within gravity’s distance of a star, gas can be seen being pulled away from said star to said black hole. It’s like a tornado: the only reason you can see the tornado is because of the matter that’s being thrown around in it.
The image at the head of this article was part of a 2017 study showing a star in close orbit around a black hole. That’s sorta what we’re talking about today, too, with X-ray binaries.