Astronomers have made an astounding discovery that sheds light on the formation of supermassive black holes in galaxies. Through their observations, they have identified a binary system consisting of two supermassive black holes in a close orbit around each other.
Supermassive black holes, which can be millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun, are typically found at the center of galaxies. Scientists have long believed that these colossal objects form through the merger of smaller supermassive black holes. However, until now, only one pair of supermassive black holes on the verge of merging had been detected.
This groundbreaking study changes the game. By closely monitoring a supermassive black hole, researchers have uncovered evidence of an orbiting companion. The binary system, composed of these enormous black holes, completes one rotation every two years.
If their findings are accurate, the diameter of the binary’s orbit is remarkably smaller compared to the only other known supermassive black hole pair. Based on their observations, the scientists predict that the two black holes will merge in approximately 10,000 years.
This discovery offers crucial insights into the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes. By understanding the behavior and characteristics of these binary systems, scientists can refine their theories about how these cosmic behemoths come into existence. Furthermore, the data collected from this study can provide valuable information for future research in the field of astrophysics.
Q: What is a supermassive black hole?
A: A supermassive black hole is a massive celestial object found at the center of most galaxies. It can have a mass ranging from millions to billions of times that of our Sun.
Q: How do supermassive black holes form?
A: Scientists believe that most supermassive black holes are formed through the merger of smaller black holes over time.
Q: What is a binary system?
A: A binary system refers to a pair of objects orbiting around a common center of mass. In this case, it pertains to two supermassive black holes orbiting each other.
Q: How often do these supermassive black holes orbit each other?
A: The two supermassive black holes in this binary system complete one orbit around each other every two years.
Q: When will the two supermassive black holes merge?
A: Based on current observations, scientists predict that the merger of the black holes in this binary system will occur in approximately 10,000 years.