Despite the rapid advancement of science, there are still mysteries hidden deep in outer space that can fascinate the human mind. One of these mysteries involves the discovery of multiple black holes existing very close to the Milky Way.
What Are Black Holes?
Black holes are certain areas in a galaxy where the force of gravity is so strong, light gets trapped and cannot escape. It is made of compressed matter and is invisible to the human eye.
Only telescopes such as NuSTAR and Chandra, with the unique capability to detect high-energy X-rays, are able to locate back holes. NASA scientists have come across a couple of these black holes that are “relatively” close to the Milky Way. So why were they hidden from our knowledge until now?
“Just as we can’t see the sun on a cloudy day, we can’t directly see how bright these active galactic nuclei really are because of all of the gas and dust surrounding the central engine,” Peter Boorman said. Boorman, a graduate student at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, described the phenomenon in this manner, reported NASA.
Black Holes: Will They Destroy The Sun And The Earth?
Some of the stellar black holes are created when a dying star collapses upon itself. So seeing that the ultimate source of life on earth, the sun, is a star, it would be natural to wonder if the sun may be replaced by one of these black holes one day.
According to NASA, the sun is too small a star to collapse and create a black hole after it enters the last stage of its life. It is more likely to lose its heat-emitting strength and become a “white dwarf star.”
As for Earth, there is little chance it will be affected, even if the sun was to get replaced by a black hole. This is due to the fact that the gravitational pull of a black hole is the same as the body it replaces. This basically means that just like the Earth orbits around the sun at present, it will orbit around the black hole then.
But even the nearest black hole to the Milky Way, our galaxy, is 38 million light years away. It is located at the center of the spiral galaxy called NGC 1448. So none of the planets in our galaxy is in any immediate danger from it.