We’ve been covering the astounding discoveries by the WISE mission and now we can add yet another amazing set of discoveries. It seems that the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope has been used to catalog millions of black holes that were not previously seen due to the fact that they are obscured by vast amounts of dust in space. Fortunately, these black holes will emit radiation when they engulf objects and this radiation heats the dust just enough to send out infrared radiation that can be picked up by the WISE telescope.
Since many black holes live at the center of galaxies, this study may have also found many new galaxies that were previously undiscovered. When some of these galaxies were studied, astronomers found that the black holes existed even though the rest of the galaxy was still forming around it. This may increase our understanding of galaxy formation, as this information seems to point to black holes forming first and then the rest of the galaxy forming around the black hole. This is far different than the commonly accepted idea that the galaxy forms first, then the black hole(s) combine with large amounts of matter from the formed galaxy and settle into the center of the galaxy.
It was not long ago that we hadn’t even confirmed the existence of our own galaxy’s black hole, Sagittarius A*. This new discovery shows us that a large central black hole is very common among galaxies, even among those that we can’t see directly. As black holes are one of the strangest phenomenon in the entire universe, we can learn much from them. In this case, their telltale signs can be used to learn more about the universe in places that we would not normally be able to see. This is yet another example of space science yielding unexpected results that allows us to further our understanding of the universe.