Scientists observe a pair of supermassive black holes doomed to collide

(ORDO NEWS) — American astronomers have confirmed the existence of a pair of supermassive black holes, which is closest to the merger of all known today.

To confirm this discovery, observations from seven telescopes were required, since the distance between black holes is close to the detection limit available to modern instruments.

Scientists from the Flatiron Institute (USA) and their colleagues have discovered two supermassive black holes located at a distance of only 750 light-years from each other.

The pair turned out to be the closest to the collision of all known pairs of black holes. However, before this event there are still several hundred million years.

The results of the study, provide a more accurate estimate of how many supermassive black holes in the universe are also approaching a collision.

The distance between newly found black holes is close to the limit of detection available to modern instruments.

Therefore, to confirm their existence, it was necessary to combine observations from seven Earth telescopes and NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope.

Although black holes cannot be seen directly with an optical telescope, they can be identified by the bright clumps of hot gas pulled in by their gravity.

The discovered black holes were at the centers of galaxies that collided at a distance of 480 million light-years from Earth. The mass of these supermassive giants is 200 and 125 million times the mass of the Sun.

After the collision of galaxies, black holes in their centers begin to attract and rotate around each other in a narrowing orbit.

At the end, their gravitational waves will become much stronger than all those that scientists have recorded before, and after that they will merge, forming one giant black hole.

Astronomers discovered this pair almost immediately, as they began targeted searches. Therefore, closely spaced supermassive black holes are probably more common in the universe than previously thought.

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