Posted on Thursday, October 12 2006 @ 6:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists unveiled the first complete census of black hole activity in the local universe and report its packed with black holes. Within 400 million light-years or our plane there are more than 200 supermassive blackholes, according to Dr JAck Tueller from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
These objects, also known as active galactic nuclei or AGN, are millions or even billions times as large as the Sun and occupy a region of space about the size of our solar system.
As they gobble up nearby matter, the black holes generate x-rays and many other forms of energy.
Other black holes also spew out jets of particles, which a related research project has determined are made up of protons and electrons.
Despite their violent activity, many AGN are obscured by surrounding gas and dust.
The scientists say they aren't sure why only a few percent of the black holes appear to be actively consuming matter. More details at ABC.