News / Science & Technology

NASA Discovers Millions of Black Holes in Space

This zoomed-in view of a portion of the all-sky survey from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a collection of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes feeding off gas and dust. (NASA)This zoomed-in view of a portion of the all-sky survey from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a collection of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes feeding off gas and dust. (NASA)
x
This zoomed-in view of a portion of the all-sky survey from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a collection of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes feeding off gas and dust. (NASA)
This zoomed-in view of a portion of the all-sky survey from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows a collection of quasar candidates. Quasars are supermassive black holes feeding off gas and dust. (NASA)
Cindy Saine
NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope, also known as WISE, has led to a bonanza discovery of supermassive black holes and rare galaxies called hot DOGS, or dust-obscured galaxies.  

WISE scanned the sky twice in infrared light, completing its survey early last year.  NASA released all of the data from the mission, allowing scientists around the world to continue to make new discoveries of their own.

Using WISE, astronomers have identified some 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes, some of them more than 10 billion light years away.  About two-thirds of these black holes previously were unknown.  A black hole is an object whose gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it once inside a particular region.

NASA astronomer Daniel Stern says the latest findings are helping astronomers better understand how galaxies, and the black holes at their centers, grow and evolve together.

"One of the biggest results in the past decade has been a realization that every galaxy appears to have a large black hole at its center.  Our own Milky Way [galaxy] has a black hole weighing about 4 million times the mass of the sun [our sun]," said Stern.

WISE researchers also report finding the rarest and brightest galaxies known.  WISE project scientist Peter Eisenhardt says these are called "hot DOGS" because they are very hot, dust-obscured galaxies.

"And now, with the WISE survey in hand, we are finding that is actually the most obscured objects in the WISE sky that are among the brightest in the universe.  WISE has found about 1,000 of these brilliant "hot DOGS," said Eisenhardt.

Eisenhardt says these galaxies are the brightest because they are the most powerful, emitting the most energy across the electromagnetic spectrum, even though they might not be easily visible.  Experts say these galaxies are more than twice as hot as other infrared-bright galaxies and that they might be seeing a new, rare phase in the evolution of galaxies - another clue in understanding the mysteries of the universe.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid