Astronomers have used a mix of low-frequency telescopes, supercomputers, and algorithms to create an unlimited sky map of 25,000 supermassive black holes.
The map reveals 1000’s of twinkling dots that appear like stars, however are literally monumental black holes, every of which is positioned in a distinct, distant galaxy.
The researchers pinpointed the celestial objects by analyzing radio emissions emitted by matter that was ejected when it bought near the black holes.
These emissions had been detected by LOFAR (Low Frequency Array), an unlimited radio telescope community unfold throughout 52 stations in 9 European nations.
LOFAR operates on the lowest frequencies that may be noticed from Earth. Nonetheless, its location produced a significant downside for the research.
LOFAR’s observations are distorted by the ionosphere, a shell of free electrons that surrounds the Earth and acted like a cloudy lens over the telescope.
“It’s just like while you attempt to see the world whereas immersed in a swimming pool,” defined research co-author Reinout van Weeren of the Leiden Observatory. “Once you lookup, the waves on the water of the pool deflect the sunshine rays and deform the view.”
The researchers overcame this problem by utilizing supercomputers and new algorithms to right the impact of the ionosphere each 4 seconds.
This allowed them to transform the radio indicators into photos of black holes.
The brand new map presently covers 4% of the Northern sky, however the astronomers plan to proceed their work till they’ve charted your complete space.
Finally, they hope to uncover new insights into the construction of the universe.
Revealed February 22, 2021 — 14:53 UTC