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Hunting for a Giant Black Hole, Astronomers Found a Nest of Darkness

两位天文学家最近致力于寻找巨型黑洞。他们利用地球上和太空中最强大的望远镜筛选了大量的数据,不少迹象表明,在一个被称为NGC 6397的遥远恒星云中,有一个质量是太阳数百倍的看不见的物体。

Two astronomers recently went looking for a monster black hole. They sifted reams of data from the most powerful telescopes on and above Earth for any sign of an invisible object hundreds of times the mass of the sun in a distant cloud of stars known as NGC 6397.


Instead, they found a nest of baby monsters, as many as five dozen: dark engines of annihilation, packed into a space barely larger than our own solar system, buzzing back and forth and throwing their considerable weight around in the dense core of the star cluster.

巴黎天体物理研究所的Eduardo Vitral和Gary A. Mamon利用哈勃太空望远镜和欧洲航天局的盖亚宇宙飞船的数据,并在2月11日的《天文学和天体物理学》杂志上报告了他们的研究结果。

Eduardo Vitral and Gary A. Mamon of the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, reported their results on Feb. 11 in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

“我们发现了非常有力的证据,证明在这个球状星团的致密核心中存在一种看不见的大质量物体,”研究生Vitral在太空望远镜科学研究所(Space Telescope Science Institute)的一份新闻稿中说。“但我们惊讶地发现,这些额外的质量不是‘点状’的。”

“We found very strong evidence for an invisible mass in the dense core of the globular cluster,” Mr. Vitral, a graduate student, said in a news release from the Space Telescope Science Institute. “But we were surprised to find that this extra mass is not ‘point-like.’”

Read more at The New York Times