Scientist discovered giant black hole trio spiraling into each other

  • June 28, 2014
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Scientist discovered giant black hole trio spiraling into each other


As­tro­no­mers say they have de­tected three gi­ant black holes spi­ral­ing in­to each oth­er. They're hop­ing si­m­i­lar sys­tems could give off de­tect­a­ble “rip­ples” in space and time of a type pre­dicted by Ein­stein.

Scientists ex­am­ined six sys­tems thought to con­tain two “su­per­mas­sive” black holes. A black hole is an ob­ject so com­pact that its gra­vity over­pow­ers even light. Su­per­mas­sive black holes are a mam­moth type, which lurk at the cen­ters of ga­lax­ies and an­chor them to­geth­er.

The re­search­ers found that one of these con­tained three su­per­mas­sive black holes – the tight­est tri­o of black holes de­tected at such a large dis­tance – with two of them or­bit­ing each oth­er rath­er like bi­na­ry, or dou­ble stars. The find­ing sug­gests that these closely packed su­per­mas­sive black holes are far more com­mon than pre­vi­ously thought, the sci­en­tists said. A re­port of the re­search is pub­lished in this week's is­sue of the jour­nal Na­ture.

“What re­mains ex­tra­or­di­nary to me is that these black holes, which are at the very ex­treme of Ein­stein's The­o­ry of Gen­er­al Rel­a­ti­vity, are or­bit­ing one anoth­er at 300 times the speed of sound on Earth,” said Rog­er Deane from the Uni­vers­ity of Cape Town in South Af­ri­ca, who led the proj­ect.

“Not only that, but us­ing the com­bined sig­nals from ra­di­o tele­scopes on four con­ti­nents we are able to ob­serve this ex­ot­ic sys­tem one third of the way across the Uni­verse,” he added. The dis­tance is es­ti­mat­ed as four bil­lion light-years. A light-year is the dis­tance light trav­els in a year.

“This is just scratch­ing the sur­face of a long list of dis­cov­er­ies that will be made pos­si­ble with the Square Kil­o­me­ter Ar­ray,” a new tel­e­scope sys­tem, he added.

The ex­pecta­t­ion is that such black holes would eventually merge, giv­ing off these waves pre­dicted by Ein­stein. “The idea that we might be able to find more of these po­ten­tial sources of gravita­t­ional waves is very en­cour­ag­ing as know­ing where such sig­nals should orig­i­nate will help us try to de­tect these ‘rip­ples' in space-time as they warp the Uni­verse,” said as­t­ro­phys­i­cist Matt Jarvis of Ox­ford Uni­vers­ity, a co-author of the pa­per.

“We have man­aged to spot three black holes packed about as tightly to­geth­er as they could be be­fore spi­ral­ing in­to each oth­er and merg­ing.”

The team used a tech­nique called Very Long Base­line In­ter­fer­om­etry to dis­cov­er the in­ner two black holes. This tech­nique com­bines the sig­nals from large ra­di­o an­ten­nas sep­a­rat­ed by up to 10,000 kilo­me­ters (6,200 miles) to see de­tail 50 times fin­er than that pos­si­ble with the Hub­ble Space Tel­e­scope. Fu­ture ra­di­o tele­scopes are ex­pected to be able to meas­ure the gravita­t­ional waves from such black hole sys­tems as the ob­jects fall in­to each oth­er.

The re­search­ers al­so found that even though black holes may be so close to­geth­er that our tele­scopes can't tell them apart, the twisted jets of par­t­i­cles that they give off may pro­vide easy-to-find point­ers to them, much like us­ing a flare to mark your loca­t­ion at sea. This could pro­vide sen­si­tive fu­ture tele­scopes a way to find such ob­jects more eas­i­ly.

BlackHole[1]Source : http://www.world-science.net/

 

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