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Scientists Calculated The Number of Black Holes in The Universe And It’s a Lot

Scientists have finally calculated the total number of black holes in the observable universe. It’s quite brain wrecking that the total number of stellar black holes is stunningly 40 quintillion. If we look at the numbers, it is 40 followed by 18 zeros (40000000000000000000). Counting the number of black holes is not an easy task. Even a small frame of the universe contains millions of black holes. It’s like counting all the sand particles on the beach.

The Artists Illustration of a Black Hole (Scientists Calculated The Number of Black Holes)
The Artists Illustration of a Black Hole

The team of researchers at the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA) figured out the number of stellar black holes. They tracked down the evolution of stars in the universe. They calculated the frequency at which the binary star systems transform into black holes. The rate of formation of stars that could eventually transform into black holes was calculated.

Watch this video for the complete visual explanation of this discovery of black holes –

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What is a black hole?

A black hole is an area of space where the gravitational field is so powerful that even light cannot escape. Because stuff has been crammed into such a small space, where the gravity is extremely powerful. Because no light can exit a black hole, no one can see it. That’s why black holes are undetectable. Space telescopes that are equipped with specialized pieces of equipment can help to detect black holes.

How big are these black holes?

Black holes can be large or small in size. Scientists believe that the tiniest black holes are as small as an atom. “Stellar” black holes are another kind of black hole. It has a mass up to 20 times that of the sun. “Supermassive” black holes are the largest. The aggregate mass of these black holes is more than a million suns.

Now, the next question arises- What Causes the Formation of Black Holes?

When the core of a massive star collapses in on itself, it creates a stellar black hole.

The scientists explored the demographics of stellar-mass black holes. They discovered that stellar-mass black holes hold about 1% of the Universe’s total ordinary (baryonic) stuff. Surprisingly, they discovered that the Universe contains approximately 40 trillion- 40 billion (i.e., about 40 x 1018, i.e., 4 followed by 19 zeros!) Of Black Holes.

As a result, there are a lot of black holes in the cosmos. And, come to think of it, this is only the first of what will likely be a series of papers. If this is where they’re starting, we’re looking forward to seeing what the SISSA team comes up with next.

Find the research paper HERE

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