Two supermassive black holes, each 800 million times more massive than our sun, are on a cosmic collision course with each other.
Fortunately, the two black holes are both about 2.5 billion light years away from us here on Earth, according to the research published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Wednesday, so it will take so long for astronomers discover the cosmic waves given by the collision. But in the meantime, their existence can help astronomers understand better black holes throughout the universe.
When the black holes reach the last days of their counterfeit approach, they will give gravity a million times stronger than those first discovered at LIGO, the Flatiron Institute for Computational Astrophysics scientist Chiara Mingarelli explained in a press release from Princeton University.
"Supermassive black hole binaries produce the highest gravity waves in the universe," she said.
Based on the location of other well-known supermassive black holes, scientists expect to pick up the waves given by other collisions within the next five years. the press release. If they do not, it gives evidence of the so-called "last parsec problem", suggesting that supermassive black holes never actually collide. Instead, hold it, they just enter an endless spiral as soon as they reach a one-parse or about. 3.2 light years apart.
"It is a great nuisance to astronomy that we do not know if supermassive black holes merge," Princeton tells astrophysicist Jenny Greene in the press release. "For everyone in the weak hole's physics, observationally this is a long-lasting puzzle that we must solve."
Models predict that the final parsec problem is insurmountable unless three or more supermassive black holes merge. If that is true, then astronomers will not discover any of the thundering gravity waves.
But if astronomers pick up new waves in the next few years, this means that supermassive black holes can actually collide with each other and merge into even larger star shadows ̵
READ MORE: Astronomers have discovered a distant pair of titanic black holes on a collision course. Princeton University Newsroom ]
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