NASA Accidentally Discovers Giant Black Holes

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A powerful NASA telescope has found not one, but ten supermassive black holes. And it did so on accident! Trace explains what exactly black holes are and why the discovery is so awesome.

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About NuSTAR: The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
"The NuSTAR mission has deployed the first orbiting telescopes to focus light in the high energy X-ray (6 - 79 keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our view of the universe in this spectral window has been limited because previous orbiting telescopes have not employed true focusing optics, but rather have used coded apertures that have intrinsically high backgrounds and limited sensitivity."

Catching Black Holes on the Fly
"NASA's black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has "bagged" its first 10 supermassive black holes. The mission, which has a mast the length of a school bus, is the first telescope capable of focusing the highest-energy X-ray light into detailed pictures."

NASA discovers 10 supermassive black holes ... by accident
"These black holes hide in the center of galaxies, pulling in matter around them. As matter falls in, the supermassive black hole ejects a huge burst of X-ray radiation. That's what the NuSTAR telescope detected."

Black Holes May Have Been Common in Early Universe
"Black holes may have been abundant among the first stars in the universe, helping explain the origin of the supermassive monsters that lurk at the heart of galaxies today, researchers say."

Black Holes: Facts, Theory & Definition
"Black holes are some of the strangest and most fascinating objects found in outer space. They are objects of extreme density, with such strong gravitational attraction that even light cannot escape from their grasp if it comes near enough."

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