The universe is a strange and wacky place, full of weird cosmic objects that will make your head spin faster than a black hole. Speaking of black holes, these things are so bizarre that they defy our understanding of space and time. They’re like the ultimate vacuum cleaners, sucking up anything that comes near them, including light!
But wait, it gets even weirder. Scientists have theorized that black holes can merge, forming supermassive black holes that are so powerful they can even bend the fabric of space-time itself. Talk about a trip!
But black holes are far from done when it comes to amazing us.
Merging galaxies are to blame
Ultramassive black holes weighing over 10 billion Suns have been spotted in the early universe, which seems challenging to explain. However, a new simulation using a supercomputer called Astrid has shown that galaxies merging could have allowed black holes to gain mass quickly, leading to the creation of a black hole that has a mass slightly lower than the total mass of the two objects before they merged.
The simulation also suggests that high-mass quasars, galaxies with supermassive black holes at the center, could merge, causing a massive black hole coalescence. Advances in technology like NASA’s upcoming space-based Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) may help in detecting gravitational waves from these mergers.
Yueying Ni, an astrophysicist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), stated as ScienceAlert quotes:
What we found are three ultramassive black holes that assembled their mass during the cosmic noon, the time 11 billion years ago when star formation, active galactic nuclei (AGN), and supermassive black holes in general reach their peak activity,
In this epoch we spotted an extreme and relatively fast merger of three massive galaxies. Each of the galaxy masses is 10 times the mass of our own Milky Way, and a supermassive black hole sits in the center of each galaxy. Our findings show the possibility that these quasar triplet systems are the progenitor of those rare ultra-massive blackholes, after those triplets gravitationally interact and merge with each other.
The new study has been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.