Science

Astronomers find three black holes on collision course

Astronomers find three black holes on collision course”

While looking for pairs of black holes at the time, astronomers spotted three supermassive black holes on their collision period.

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer from NASA then had its role in the study, too, with the infrared light, which came from the black holes.

The Chandra data revealed the bright spots at the centre of each galaxy where scientists expect to find the massive black hole. And optical-light data gathered by the SDSS and the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona further bolstered the notion that all three black holes were active.

Finding a singular supermassive black hole is a feat but finding three galaxies are colliding is especially rare.

One of the reasons why it is hard to find a triple system of supermassive black holes, is that they are likely to be surrounded by gas and dust, blocking much of the light produced.

Ryan Pfeifle, who's a professor at George Mason University in Virginia, said that they were looking for pairs of black holes, but that, due to their selection technique, they found this awesome system.

Astronomers have dubbed the black hole system SDSS J084905.51+111447.2 or SDSS J0849+1114 for short.

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Study co-author Christina Manzano-King of the University of California, Riverside, said: "Optical spectra contain a wealth of information about a galaxy".

"They lay out a pretty convincing case that this system is a triple supermassive black hole merger", Chiara Mingarelli, associate research scientist at the Flatiron Institute Centre for Computational Astrophysics, told Gizmodo. The machine used to be realized to pleasing intensely in infrared lights. "Each telescope gives us a different clue about what's going on in these systems", Pfeifle said in a statement.

"It would really open up our understanding of how galaxy mergers affect supermassive black holes and vice versa", study author Ryan Pfeifle, Ph.D student at George Mason University, told Gizmodo. "We hope to elongate our work to search out extra triples the utilization of the same components". The three black holes are supermassive, meaning they are hundreds of thousands to billions of times heavier than our Sun.

The introduction of a third supermassive black hole to a binary supermassive black hole pair could provide the necessary oomph to allow the merger to happen on a more reasonable timescale.

The black holes surround themselves in gas and dust like a shroud that obscures them from Earth-based telescopes. Previously, space scientists have been puzzled over "final parsec problem", where two black holes get close but require another factor for overcoming their huge energy and merge. He discovered an object named SDSS J0849+1114. The merger will also create gravitational waves - ripples in space-time that can be detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo gravitational-wave detector.

Triplet black holes are a rare discovery and one that usually takes a system of observatories to discover. WISE, LBT and Chandra overcome this issue as they rely on infrared and x-ray radiation data.



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