Extremely Rare Phenomenon: Scientists Find Binary Supermassive Black Hole

Extremely Rare Phenomenon: Scientists Find Binary Supermassive Black Hole

One supermassive black hole is weird enough. Astrophysicists are struggling even today to find out entirely how such a cosmic monster works. What they know for sure is that it can have both a negative and positive role in the Cosmos.

A supermassive black hole binary system isn’t something astronomers can find every day. In fact, they’ve just seen the second such pair ever. Responsible for this almost unique discovery are scientists from Purdue University, as well as other institutions, according to SciTechDaily.com.

Two black holes orbit each other at between 200 AU and 2,000 AU away

Only 200 to 2,000 AU separate the two supermassive black holes in question that are orbiting one another. They are located very far away: 8.8 billion light-years away from Earth.

Astronomers expect that the black hole binary system will merge at some point. That would generate gravitational waves, meaning disturbances in the fabric of spacetime itself.

The two black holes are located at the center of the PKS 2131-021 galaxy. Locating not one, but two supermassive black holes in the center of a galaxy is indeed surprising.

Here’s the description of the video itself:

Astronomers think that a galaxy called PKS 2131-021 harbors at its core not one but two orbiting supermassive black holes. This animation explains how the orbital motion of a powerful jet revealed the presence of the monstrous duo.


Credit: Caltech

Astronomers believe that there should be a supermassive black hole located at the center of each galaxy out there. Our Milky Way galaxy is no exception, as the Sagittarius A supermassive black hole dwells at its core. 

There are four discovered types of black holes: intermediate, stellar, supermassive, and miniature. Astronomers estimate that in the Milky Way alone, there should be as many as ten million to a billion stellar black holes.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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