When two giant black holes collide, the result is a phenomenon called a “gravitational wave event.” This occurs when the black holes merge and release a massive amount of energy in the form of gravitational waves, which ripple through space and time. The waves themselves are difficult to detect, but their effects can be observed indirectly. Scientists use sensitive instruments, such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), to detect these waves and analyze them.
During a black hole collision, the two black holes gradually spiral toward each other, emitting gravitational waves as they orbit each other faster and faster. Eventually, they merge into a single, more massive black hole, releasing a burst of gravitational waves that travel out into space. This process releases an enormous amount of energy, equivalent to several times the mass of the sun, in just a fraction of a second.
A premiere in astronomy
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has detected the first evidence of black holes in colliding dwarf galaxies, according to Space.com. The astronomers spotted two pairs of colliding dwarf galaxy black holes using deep Chandra X-ray observations, and the material around the black holes was heated to millions of degrees, producing large amounts of high-energy light manifesting as X-rays, which Chandra is adept at spotting. As the dwarf galaxies merge and form a larger galaxy, the findings could help to understand how black holes and galaxies grew in the early stages of the universe. Scientists will continue to observe these collisions and their effect on dwarf galaxies.
Marko Micic from the University of Alabama, stated as Space.com quotes:
Astronomers have found many examples of black holes on collision courses in large galaxies that are relatively close by,
But searches for them in dwarf galaxies are much more challenging and until now had failed.
The new study was accepted to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.