A result was announced last week that the supermassive black hole at the center of our Galaxy has company in the form of 10,000 much smaller stellar mass black holes.
We think that supermassive black holes are situated in the centers of most galaxies. The one in Milky Way has a mass of about 3-4 million times the mass of the Sun. This “invisible” astronomical body assimilates any object that hits its surface or “event horizon,” with the result being to grow its size. This is similar to how a fan of hamburgers and french fries “assimilates” that tasty fare in the form of a big tummy.
It is thought that there are a great many examples of the much smaller stellar mass black hole varieties, which are the ones formed by the explosions of massive stars. Or, at least it is thought that there _were_ many examples of this stellar black hole variety. That is before these unsuspecting small black holes got swallowed up by the supermassive black hole a long, long time ago.
In other words, stellar mass black holes near to the Galactic center should be rare. Instead, astronomers are finding 10,000 of them!
We do not know how long all those stellar mass black holes have been loitering around the Galactic center in such large numbers, or even if the result will hold up to the scrutiny of additional checks.
If true, then this will help us to understand the assimilation rates of black holes which produce waves in spacetime as predicted by Einstein. This result appeared in a National Public Radio announcement last week.