Nearly 70 percent of the tiny dots in this image are supermassive black holes—areas of intense gravity that pull in all matter around them. NASA scientists created this image by piecing together 7 million seconds of footage from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. By observing black holes in this way, scientists can figure out how they formed. They think that supermassive black holes that developed in the early days of the Universe came about in quick bursts, as opposed to forming steadily overtime. NASA/CXC/Penn State/B.Luo et al.
is the Science Editor at Popular Science. She has a particular interest in brain science, the microbiome, and human physiology. In addition to Popular Science, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, and Scholastic’s Science World and Super Science magazines, among others. She has a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Davis and a master’s in science journalism from New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. Contact the author here.