NASA finds ‘bonanza’ of millions of new black holes

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, August 30, 2012 13:38 EDT
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New black holes spotted by NASA's WISE telescope. Photo: Public domain, courtesy of NASA.
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NASA said Wednesday they’d discovered a “bonanza” of new black holes, possibly up to 2.5 million of them, using the new Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope.

“WISE has exposed a menagerie of hidden objects,” Hashima Hasan, WISE program scientist, said in a media advisory. “We’ve found an asteroid dancing ahead of Earth in its orbit, the coldest star-like orbs known and now, supermassive black holes and galaxies hiding behind cloaks of dust.”

The telescope twice scanned the night sky in infrared light, and astronomers have been pouring through its data ever since.

They said about two-thirds of the objects revealed by the WISE telescope had never been seen before due to space dust making the light impossible to detect.

“We’ve got the black holes cornered,” WISE black hold study lead author Daniel Stern said in a release. “WISE is finding them across the full sky, while NuSTAR is giving us an entirely new look at their high-energy X-ray light and learning what makes them tick.”

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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