According to astronomers, one of the most anticipated occurrences in modern astronomy may be upon us soon.
Fluctuations in light measurements from the galaxy SDSS J1430+center 2303 lead to the likelihood of a large collision between two supermassive black holes with a combined mass of around 200 million Suns, according to research.
Real-time collision of two supermassive black holes
If the scientists’ interpretation of the data is correct, the collision, along with the first black hole image captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, may rank among the biggest modern astronomical events. According to the scientists’ data, the black holes in this condition will merge within the next three years, which is a very short period of time in the context of scientific investigations.
The findings of the study can be found on the pre-print portal ArXiv and have been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The event was detected in 2015 as a result of gravitational waves created by the first black hole merger, which rippled through space-time. However, the gravitational force from that collision, as well as subsequent observations, had an impact for years after it occurred. As a result, the collision at the core of SDSS J1430+2303 could be the first time astronomers have witnessed such an occurrence.
There is one crucial caveat in the run-up to this cosmic calamity. The gravitational wave range produced by supermassive black holes is too narrow for our current gravitational wave detectors to detect. Virgo and LIGO, which are both capable of detecting ripples in the frequency created by binary black holes, have identified nearly all black hole mergers to date.
Astronomers expect to be able to observe the event’s massive outpouring of light using other observatories, which will continue to produce light over the full spectrum. If and when it happens, it could significantly increase our understanding of the formation of supermassive black holes.
Although there is some evidence that binary black hole mergers may be the source of the genesis of supermassive black holes, we still don’t fully understand how they grow to be that large.
Astronomers will direct their telescopes to the region of space where the galaxy J1429+2303 is expected 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