Globular Clusters Aren’t Boring
Globular clusters are collections of stars that orbit around a galactic center. Most are ancient and generally considered uneventful, remnants of a star system’s early, first few billion, years. A team of researchers from the University of Surrey, however, thinks there may be more to these clusters than we can actually see.
Using advance computer modeling, researchers Miklos Peuten and Mark Gieles chose to study a globular cluster called NGC 6101 — mainly because this ancient cluster showed a less concentrated distribution of stars, unlike younger clusters.
What they discovered when mapping NGC 6101 over its lifetime of 13 billion years might change our understanding of how black holes are formed.
Riddled With Holes
In 2013 astrophysicists discovered that some individual black holes can stay within globular clusters, a phenomena possible because a companion star donates material to the black hole.