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This Astonishing Image Reveals More Than 2,000 Black Holes In Deep Space

It's mind-bending.

06/01/2017 17:22 | Updated 08 January 2017

The X-ray below boasts the highest concentration of black holes ever seen. It shows 2,076, despite covering an area of space just two-thirds the size of a full moon.

If the X-ray covered all of the night sky, more than a billion black holes would be revealed. So why are they so tightly packed?

Well, this is the deepest X-ray ever taken. Never in the history of astronomy has a single image peered so far through space.

NASA/CXC/Penn State/BLuo et al

The image was captured over 7 million seconds of observing time by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory.

The recorded data will provide an unprecedented insight into the formation of black holes over billions of years.

“By detecting X-rays from such distant galaxies, we’re learning more about the formation and evolution of stellar-mass and supermassive black holes in the early Universe,” said team member Fabio Vito, of Penn State.

“We’re looking back to times when black holes were in crucial phases of growth, similar to hungry infants and adolescents.”

Roughly seven in 10 of the objects in the new image are supermassive black holes, ranging from 100,000 to 10 billion times the mass of the sun. 

“By detecting X-rays from such distant galaxies, we’re learning more about the formation and evolution of stellar-mass and supermassive black holes in the early Universe,” said team member Fabio Vito, also of Penn State.

“We’re looking back to times when black holes were in crucial phases of growth, similar to hungry infants and adolescents.”

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