A Million Stars in the Sky

black holeHow would our sky appear if we could see one million stars glowing every night?

An international team of astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to explore “a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.”

The ominous mass throbs inside the M60-UCD1 dwarf galaxy, a corner of the universe that “crams 140 million stars within a diameter of about 300 light-years”–a bare fraction of the size of our own galaxy.

NASA explained more about this monstrous black hole:

If you lived inside this dwarf galaxy, the night sky would dazzle with at least 1 million stars visible to the naked eye. Our nighttime sky as seen from Earth’s surface shows 4,000 stars.

The finding implies there are many other compact galaxies in the universe that contain supermassive black holes. The observation also suggests dwarf galaxies may actually be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with other galaxies rather than small islands of stars born in isolation.

(The artist’s view of M60-UCD1 Black Hole comes via NASA, ESA, STScI-PRC14-41a)

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