A group of scientists has discovered what seems to be the start of two massive black holes at the cores of their own galaxies starting to bump into each other. Event like this should come as no surprise, since there are up to 200 billion galaxies in the known universe, so two of them are certain to collide from time to time. Actually, astronomers have already detected the unification of galaxies (as shown in the image below), but they've never before observed the ending procedure of galaxy reunion, which happens when the two dominant black holes crash into each other, discharging some pretty intense cosmic fireworks that possibly will warp space-time itself. The group of scientists, including researchers from Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, have speculated that an infrequent light signal they're seeing from quasar PG 1302-102 -- basically a black hole releasing light from the superheated particles spinning around its gravitational drain -- is being initiated by the cosmic event between two black holes in the entire system, each situated less than the length of our solar system apart.
This theory was printed last week in the journal Nature. While other cosmic occurrences could clarify the light signature, the researchers became assured that their theory is the best possibility, after examining the quasar's light spectrum. If the theory is accurate, study co-author S. George Djorgovski of the California Institute of Technology spoke to The New YorkTimes that when the two massive black holes bump into each other, they could discharge the energy equal to 100 million supernova explosions, which would tear apart the whole galaxy in which they're present. The collision would also produce gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time projected by Einstein's theory of general relativity, Djorgovski told the The New York Times.
Unluckily, astronomers expecting to observe such an event are out of luck, as the projected union won't happen for about another million years – which clearly is a long time in human standards, but not cosmic ones. Obviously, the creation itself already knows whether the theory is accurate because the light we're observing from this system, situated in the Virgo constellation, arises from 3.5 billion light years away -- describing everything we're observing already happened billions of years ago. But until we come about with our own way to warp the space-time fabric, I guess we'll just have to hold on to our equipment’s and wait.