Black holes, codenamed PKS 2131-021, are entangled in a dance of death worth about 9 billion light years From Earth, according to a study published on February 23 in Astrophysical Journal Letters† The two bodies have been steadily moving toward each other for about 100 million years, according to Statement from NASAAnd now they share a binary orbit, with two black holes rotating every two years.
Within 10,000 years, the two black holes will merge and emit gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime he originally predicted. Albert Einstein Researchers said it’s spiraling into the universe. While none of us will witness this epic collision, now studying PKS 2131-021 could reveal new information about how supermassive black holes form and what happens when two of them collide.
Supermassive black holes – extremely black and dense objects with a mass greater than hundreds of millions of times countryThe Sun – sits in the hearts of most, if not all, galaxies of the universe. Astronomers don’t know how these objects become so large, NASA said, but one possibility is that the largest black holes in the universe are caused by at least one merger between two small black holes. The new study may help confirm this hypothesis.
PKS 2131-021 is a special type of black hole known as a blazar – a supermassive black hole that just happens to send a jet of supercharged matter straight to Earth. This material comes from the rings of hot gas that form around some black holes. When a black hole pulls that gas in with its force gravitySome items can escape and instead get pushed away in an airplane plasma Travel at nearly the speed of light.
The authors of the new study were monitoring the brightness of about 1,800 blazars scattered across the universe when they noticed something strange: Blazar PKS 2131-021’s brightness swung at regular intervals — so the study authors were expected to track fluctuations in ticks. from the clock.
The researchers suspected that these differences were the result of a second black hole pulling the first body as the two bodies orbit each other every two years, but the team needed more data to see how long this pattern lasted. So the researchers dug into data from five observatories spanning 45 years. All the additional data matched the team’s predictions of how the duo’s brightness would change over time.
If the results are confirmed, PKS 2131-021 will be the second pair of binary black holes ever discovered – and scientists have found the closest pair. Scientists discovered the universe’s first known binary candidate for a black hole in 2020 in a galaxy about 3.5 billion light-years from Earth. However, these black holes orbit each other every nine years, indicating a much greater distance between them than between the two members of PKS 2131–021.
The study authors said that monstrous black holes are large enough and close enough to emit gravitational waves before their inevitable collision. He said in a statement† Future observations of PKS 2131-021 aim to capture those waves in action.
Originally published on Live Science.
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