One of the most awaited events in modern astronomy, according to astronomers, may soon be upon us.
According to research, fluctuations in light measurements from the galaxy SDSS J1430+center 2303’s point to the possibility of a major collision between two supermassive black holes with a total mass of about 200 million Suns.
A supermassive black hole collision in real-time
The collision, coupled with the first black hole image taken by the Event Horizon Telescope, may rank among the greatest modern astronomical events if the scientists’ interpretation of the data is right. In this situation, according to the scientists’ data, the black holes will merge within the next three years, which is a very short period of time in the context of scientific studies.
The research results are available on the pre-print server ArXiv and have been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Due to the gravitational waves that the first black hole merger caused to ripple through space-time, the event was discovered in 2015. However, the gravitational force from that collision continued to have an impact for years after it occurred, as did subsequent observations. As a result, the collision at the core of SDSS J1430+2303 might be the first time astronomers have had the opportunity to watch such an event take place.
In the run-up to this cosmic catastrophe, there is one significant caveat. The range of gravitational waves produced by supermassive black holes is too low for our existing gravitational wave detectors to pick up. Virgo and LIGO, both of which are capable of detecting ripples in the frequency produced by binary black holes, have thus far discovered almost all black hole mergers
The astronomers anticipate being able to observe the event’s tremendous outpouring of light using other observatories, which will still produce light over the entire spectrum. If and when it occurs, it could greatly advance our understanding of the development of supermassive black holes.
Although there is some evidence that binary black hole mergers may be the cause of supermassive black holes’ formation, we still don’t fully understand how they grow to be that big.
Astronomers will focus their observatories on the area of space where the galaxy J1429+2303 could be about to witness a catastrophic supermassive black hole collision in order to examine the data before and after the event and better understand its implications as well as the processes that led up to it.
Reference(s): Research Paper