One black hole is bad enough. The simple idea that a cosmic monster is able to absorb everything, even entire stars and light, is terrifying. Unfortunately or not, we all live in a universe where such structures exist.
According to a new study that SciTechDaily.com writes about, there are more black holes in the observable Universe than you would dare to fear in your worst nightmares. Of course, despite their bad reputation as cosmic eaters, black holes are also beneficial for galaxies in some ways. But let’s leave that aspect aside for the moment.
There are roughly 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 black holes out there
According to new calculations of SISSA researchers, who had been relying on a new computational approach, the estimated number of black holes from the observable Universe is about 40,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot!
Alex Sicilia, a Ph.D. student at SISSA, who was supervised by Professor Andrea Lapi and Dr. Lumen Boco, as well as benefiting from the collaboration from SISSA and other institutions, were the scientists who wanted to respond to the big question about black holes. They wanted to find out just how many of these cosmic monsters exist in the Universe.
Of course, the 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 black holes only refer to how many of these monsters exist in what astronomers can see and measure from the Universe. In other words, the whole Universe could be tremendously bigger than what astronomers know as the “observable Universe”.
Alex Sicilia, who is the first author of the study, declared as quoted by SciTechDaily.com:
The innovative character of this work is in the coupling of a detailed model of stellar and binary evolution with advanced recipes for star formation and metal enrichment in individual galaxies. This is one of the first, and one of the most robust, ab initio computation of the stellar black hole mass function across cosmic history.
Just in case you still believe that the Universe is a safe place, now you have another reason to think the opposite.