a gigantic pile of black holes has been sighted

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New discoveries keep showing us how fascinating black holes are. Especially when combined with other revelations, just as interesting. According to a study by Nature Astronomy, an extraordinary phenomenon is occurring on Palomar 5, 80,000 light years from Earth.

A cluster like no other

An international team of researchers has found that Palomar 5 (a globular cluster discovered in 1950) could certainly consist of a hundred oversized black holes. This would then explain the low density of this globular cluster, which would consist of stars only a few light years apart.

We have currently discovered 150 globular clusters in the Milky Way. Palomar 5 is one of them. The cluster would consist of 100,000 to 1 million particularly old stars that would then form a full 30,000 light years away. Globular clusters are excellent objects of study for scientists, as are “tidal currents”. These star trails, abandoned by the clusters, are full of secrets. Fortunately, Palomar 5 is the perfect object to study with.

For this reason, Mark Gieles from the University of Barcelona and the rest of his team then examined the cluster using an N-body simulation. They discovered how unique Palomar 5 was as its low density and stellar tides covered 20 degrees of the sky.

Black holes that take up space

Because of its structure, the researchers hypothesized that there is a horde of black holes in Palomar 5 itself. This phenomenon might actually exist, although it has never been observed by humans on a globular cluster before.

The researchers’ calculations then suggest that there are indeed black holes inside the cluster. Even crazier, they would have evolved over time and given Palomar 5 its unique structure and “tidal current”. Currently, 20% of the cluster are black holes with about 20 times the mass of the Sun. And it shouldn’t go smoothly. Ultimately, Palomar 5 will consist entirely of black holes and will inevitably disappear. According to the research team, its dissolution is expected in a billion years.

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