A swarm of black holes were caught traveling through our galaxy. Can it be a threat to us?

Credit image: pixabay images - artistic image of a black hole
Credit image: pixabay images - artistic image of a black hole

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 17 April 2022, at 12:53 Los Angeles time

Astronomers and many other scientists are looking through the Universe to find something more special, something they could study, learn more about it, and find answers to some fundamental questions in astronomy.

But sometimes they find something completely different, such as a swarm of black holes that travel through the Milky Way, the galaxy we are in.

Scientists have discovered a swarm of more than 100 black holes with solar masses traveling "freely" through our galaxy.

However, researchers reassure us that they are far from Earth. We must not think that we could be swallowed by a black hole.

Palomar 5 is a globular cluster (until now) with stars at distances of up to 30,000 light-years apart, forming a stellar flux throughout the galaxy.

This is the cluster we are talking about. It was first discovered in 1950 by German astronomer Walter Baade.

If in the past astronomers noticed the beauty of the stars, well, now astronomers did not look much at the stars, because what caught their attention were the black holes.

"The number of black holes is roughly three times larger than expected from the number of stars in the cluster, and it means that more than 20% of the total cluster mass is made up of black holes," said Mark Gieles, an astrophysicist from the University of Barcelona and lead author of the study.

"They each have a mass of about 20 times the mass of the Sun and they formed in supernova explosions at the end of the lives of massive stars, when the cluster was still very young." he continues.

As written above, it has so far been considered a globular cluster, meaning a cluster where all the stars are almost equal in age.

Now, Palomar 5 is considered a tidal cluster, ie a cluster where stars have not formed approx. at the same time.

According to the researchers, the tidal flow in the cluster was most likely caused by a large number of black holes, the effect depending on the usual interactions inside the cluster.

Following these discoveries, we expect researchers to tell us more about black holes.

Source: The article was written based on primary research published in Nature Astronomy.

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