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[TR] Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system – and it's supermassive

post #1 of 11
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Scientists have discovered the closest-ever supermassive black hole binary system. It's in the spiral galaxy NGC 7674, and the pair of voids are separated by a distance of less than one light year.

Supermassive black hole binaries are rare. Until now, astronomers have only spotted one so far, about 24 light years apart. Finding two systems is important, as it provides more evidence that supermassive black holes collide in galaxies, and are the source of gravitational waves. The researchers focused on the central region of NGC 7674 and detected two bulges at frequencies indicative of growing monstrous black holes.

Preeti Kharb, co-author of the paper and a researcher at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, said: "The two radio sources have properties that are known to be associated with massive black holes that are accreting gas, implying the presence of two black holes."

The supermassive black holes have a whopping combined mass of about forty million times the mass of the Sun, and an orbital period of one hundred thousand years.

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/20/closest_supermassive_black_hole_binary/
post #2 of 11
thats only slightly horrifying.
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post #3 of 11
Wh..What happens if they touch?
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post #4 of 11
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Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Wh..What happens if they touch?
The universe collapses on itself. Well it's theorized that they merge to form a super massive black hole which is the basis behind the formation of super massive black holes found in the center of galaxies.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Wh..What happens if they touch?




Jokes aside, IIRC, a single singularity remains and you get a very big gravity wave. We probably don't give to observe that though.
   
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post #6 of 11
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Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Wh..What happens if they touch?
Basically nothing interesting if I recall correctly. You just end up with a bigger black hole. There is nothing particularly special about a point of infinite density merging with another such point.
post #7 of 11
When they merge, they generate a lot of gravitational waves.
    
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post #8 of 11
We'll observe what happens in a few billion years.
post #9 of 11
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Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Wh..What happens if they touch?

An explosion you can feel a few billion light years away.

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by xioros View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by d0mini View Post

Wh..What happens if they touch?


wheee.gifdrunken.gifwheee.gif
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