December 5, 2022

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Discovery of the closest pair of supermassive black holes |  Science

Discovery of the closest pair of supermassive black holes | Science

Using the European Southern Laboratory / ESO’s Largest Telescope – VLT, astronomers were able to find the closest pair of supermassive black holes ever found. The two holes are now expected to close together about 250 million years later.

Share Press release According to the laboratory, the pair is located in galaxy NGC 7727 in the Aquarius galaxy, about 89 million light-years from Earth.

Although the distance appears to be relatively far, it is far less than the distance that separates us from a pair of supermassive black holes 470 million light years old, which makes the newly discovered supermassive black hole pair even closer to us. .

The Galaxy “NGC 7727” is located 89 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Aquarius (European Southern Observatory).

Two monsters in a galaxy

Three years ago, a team of scientists reported a condensed cluster of stars from the bright center of NGC7727, which is located in the slightly distorted galaxy Aquarius. This “second center” turned out to produce dim X-rays, which led customers to recommend it. May be the nucleus of a small, moderately active central black hole that merged with NGC 7727 a billion years ago.

And inside New scientific study Published on the website of the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” last November 22, two molecules in the galaxy “NGC7727” have found evidence that they have a supermassive theme. The hole is 1,600 light-years apart.

“This is the first time two supermassive black holes have been detected so close together, less than half the distance between previous achievers,” said Kareena Vogel, the study’s lead author.

Two supermassive holes now merge 250 million years later (European Southern Observatory)Two supermassive holes now merge 250 million years later (European Southern Observatory)

How was it discovered?

Using the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) of the European Southern Observatory’s largest telescope in Chile, the team monitored the motion of stars around the nucleus by measuring their velocity, paths, and the gravitational impact of two worm holes. This device provides the highest accuracy in measuring the velocity of objects very close to the black hole, from which the mass of the black hole can be calculated.

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Data from the researchers were able to determine the mass of two giant holes, and they found that the mass of the black hole at the heart of the galaxy “NGC 7727” is 154 million times greater than that of the Sun. The hole in the center of the dying galaxy has a mass of 6.3 million solar masses.

In comparison, the black hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be relatively small compared to these two bodies, as its mass is only about 4 million solar masses.

On the integration track

The researchers revealed that the speed of the two giant holes and the small distance between them indicate that they will probably merge into one large black hole within the next 250 million years. It’s been a long time for us, but it seems like a blink of an eye in a universe of more than 13 billion years. With this link we can solve an ancient mystery about how huge black holes in astronomical physics can grow to such large sizes.

Citing Vogel, the European Laboratory reports that the discovery suggests that “there may be a lot of remnants of galaxies and many hidden massive black holes waiting to be discovered.”

The search for supermassive black hole pairs similarly hidden in distant galaxies is expected to make a big leap with Europe’s largest telescope / ELT, which will begin work in Chile’s Atacama Desert later this decade. This laboratory will be able to study the discoveries of black hole fusion processes and the gravitational waves they cause.

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