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07th Jan 2017

Evidence of hidden supermassive black holes detected in nearby galaxies

Don't worry too much, folks...


Weeks on from all the excitement of Christmas, January is traditionally a bit of a shit month.

With many of us keeping an extra cautious eye on our bank balances and feeling guilty about how much we ate and drank last month, we’ve enough things to be worrying about.

Clearly not giving two shits about any of this, scientists have now added to an already-glum month by telling us that a series of whopping great black holes – capable of turning every particle of this planet and everything on it to fuck all in a split second – could be lurking in our spacey back yard.

According to them, there’s evidence to suggest that supermassive black holes are just around the corner from us (in galactic terms, that is). They reckon that the powerful black holes are hidden behind clouds of gas and dust in two galaxies close to ours.

But don’t panic too much. The nearest of the two is galaxy NGC 1448, a mere 38 million light years from the Milky Way. The other, IC3639, is 170 million light years away. This means that both galaxies and their spacetime-distorting black holes are a safe distance from Earth.

According to The Independent, the hidden blackholes were spotted by NASA’s NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) orbiting observatory, designed to see X-rays.

“These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us until now,” said astronomer Ady Annuar, from the University of Durham’s Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy.

“They’re like monsters hiding under your bed.

“Their recent discoveries certainly call out the question of how many other supermassive black holes we are still missing, even in our nearby universe.”