They're not galaxies or stars, each of these white dots represents something very terrifying – teach me about science

Source: Lovar/LOL Survey/Astrone

When you look at Night skyYou may have been told that those little sparkles you see could be stars or even galaxies a light It has barely reached us. However, a recently released photo doesn't even show it starsno Galaxiesno Supernovae. What could be next?

An international team of scientists revealed Sky map Which includes more than 25,000 Supermassive black holes. Published in the magazine Astronomy and astrophysics At the beginning of 2021, that is a map It stands out as the most detailed in the field of calls Radio frequencies are low. The image, which appears to be studded with stars, is actually a graphic representation of the location of these cosmic phenomena, with each one located somewhere. A galaxy far away.

What does study mean?

This achievement is the result of extensive work that included 256 hours of observing the northern sky using… Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) in Europe. Lofar that it A unique radio telescope It owns about 20,000 radio antennas distributed among 52 stations in nine European countries. Unlike Single dish telescopes, Lofar he Multipurpose sensor network with Innovative IT infrastructure Which can handle large amounts of data.

Despite the challenges inherent in observations from the Earth's surface, rather than… Space telescope, Lofar You have overcome great obstacles. the Ionosphere Surrounding the Earth, a shell of free electrons that obscures telescopes, was particularly difficult. To combat this phenomenon, the team used supercomputers that ran algorithms to correct ion interference every four seconds during 256 hours of observation.

Comparing the situation to trying to see the world from the bottom of a swimming pool,… Astronomy scientists They explain how Water waves Vision distortion as well Ionosphere Makes it difficult to track black holes. This achievement not only saves Detailed map Of these phenomena, but it also sheds light on Extensive structure The universe, among other wonderful aspects.

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Lots of space for lots of supermassive black holes!

Not much, it is necessary to highlight that, even though the number is 25,000 Supermassive black holes It may seem overwhelming, a map It currently covers only 4% of the northern half of the sky. the Astronomy scientists They plan to continue mapping until they cover the entire northern sky. In addition to its impact on understanding black holesthis a map It promises to provide valuable information about Structure of the universe in general.

A real picture of a black hole. Source: UNAM Science

This achievement not only represents a turn in astronomical research, but it also paves the way for future discoveries. The most detailed investigation aims to study more than a million people Radio spectra Low frequency, providing unique insights Physical models related with Galaxies, Active cores, Galaxy clusters And other fields of study. The authors of the article highlight this an experience It represents a unique attempt to explore the very low frequency sky High angular resolution And depth.

this Detailed map to Supermassive black holes he Amazing feat In exploring the universe. It doesn't just give us a Horrific vision to distribute these phenomena in the sky, but it also opens new doors to understanding them Breadth and complexity Of the universe in which we live. as Astronomy scientists As they continue their research, we can expect more exciting discoveries that will expand our understanding of space and its mysteries.

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