It’s hard to imagine that anything “supermassive” would be very good at hiding, but astronomers believe that there may be millions of supermassive black holes in the universe just waiting for the right tool to expose them.
The space agency’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) just may be that instrument.
“While hidden from view from most other telescopes, NuSTAR can spot [black holes] by detecting the highest-energy X-rays, which can penetrate through the enshrouding gas and dust,” NASA’s website outlines.
So far, NuSTAR has identified five previously undetected supermassive black holes while scouring nine separate galaxies. Researchers presented those findings Monday at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.