Strange New Kind of Galaxy Spotted

Infrared survey uncovers 'menagerie of hidden objects'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2012 1:17 AM CDT
Updated Aug 30, 2012 3:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – After two years of scanning the night sky, NASA's WISE infrared telescope has spotted millions of supermassive black holes and a type of galaxy never seen before. The hot, dust-obscured galaxies—hot DOGs—are very rare. Each emits as much light as 100 trillion suns, hidden behind a vast cloud of cosmic dust, reports Reuters. WISE spotted close to a thousand hot DOGs. Astronomers believe they form when spiral galaxies collide, making them the missing link between galaxies like our own, and elliptical galaxies.

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WISE spotted more than 2.5 million supermassive black holes, more than twice as many as earlier surveys, by detecting the warm dust around them, reports Wired. "WISE has exposed a menagerie of hidden objects," a program scientist says. "We've found an asteroid dancing ahead of Earth in its orbit, the coldest star-like orbs known, and now, supermassive black holes, and galaxies hiding behind cloaks of dust." (Read more WISE satellite telescope stories.)

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