Watch | NASA posts visual of 22 black holes in Milky Way galaxy, Large Magellanic Cloud

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shared visuals of 22 mysterious objects in our Milky Way galaxy and its nearest neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The American space agency has been for a long time studying the evolution of galaxies and have tried to tie it down with these unique mysterious objects in detail. 

NASA shared a visual of 22 X-ray binary systems that host confirmed black holes at the same scale, with their orbits sped up by about 22,000 times.

The video was captured from the NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center and Scientific Visualization Studio.

Black holes, the dark abyss found at the center of every galaxy with such strong gravity that even light does not escape, have fascinated astronomers the world over. Stars that are born with a mass that is more than 20 times that of the Sun end up becoming black holes as it collapses.

Watch black holes here

In describing the visual, NASA mentioned that the view of each system reflects how we see it from Earth. 

Star colors ranging from blue-white to reddish represent temperatures from 5 times hotter to 45% cooler than our Sun. In most of these systems, a stream of matter from the star forms an accretion disk around the black hole. In others, like the famous system called Cygnus X-1, the star produces a hefty outflow that is partly swept up by the black hole’s gravity to form the disk. The accretion disks use a different color scheme because they sport even higher temperatures than the stars. 

The largest disk shown, belonging to a binary called GRS 1915, spans a distance greater than that separating Mercury from our Sun. The black holes themselves are shown larger than in reality using spheres scaled to reflect their masses.

What are black holes?

A black hole is formed from the death of a star with such a high gravitational field that the matter gets squeezed into the small space under it, trapping the light of the dead star. The gravity is so strong due to the matter being squeezed into a tiny space. Since no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible.

The graphical visualisation released by Nasa shows black holes on a scale reflecting their masses, all are depicted much larger than in reality.

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